January 27, 2011

Pieces of history planned for courthouse

By Michael Johnson, Editor

A good indication of a project planning period coming to an end is when talks surround the finer details of decorative woodwork and bathrooms. That’s just where McLean County Commissioners are at as courthouse engineer Al Fitterer narrowed the courthouse plans once again. It sounds like the next time the commission meets, Feb. 1, they could be approving the plans for the new courthouse. As had been discussed before, the new courthouse could incorporate woodwork that was part of the old courthouse to keep some of the history alive. States Attorney Ladd Erickson said he would like to be able to use ceiling beams, wainscoting, light fixtures and cabinetry from the old courthouse in the new courthouse. He even went as far as saying that he would volunteer his time and space to refinish certain items himself in order to cut costs if needed. He already refinished one desk, which he plans on moving into the new courthouse. Because he did that he understands that to do so is very expensive and may not be a cost-effective plan over buying new. All agreed that incorporating old with new could be difficult but that it would be nice to use what is useable. "I think that’s going to be a great court system," Erickson said of the plans.

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