September 4, 2008

Assessment begins for future of McLean County Courthouse

Assessment begins for future of McLean County Courthouse When bats were found once again in the McLean County Courthouse, all of the surrounding communities knew that the issue would grow into something of a much larger magnitude. As though the furry critters aren’t enough to handle, the McLean County Commission is now looking toward the future of the courthouse, and attempting to date the lifespan of the building. One of the first steps into a possible courthouse renovation will take place on Thursday Sept. 4 and Friday Sept. 5. During these two days, the entire building will be closed for a cleanup, affecting the third floor. The cleanup will focus on all areas that may work as entry points for bats to crawl into the building, along with cleaning up the rest of the affected area. According to State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson, the main portion of the cleanup will be done on these days, possibly spanning into Saturday. Erickson said, “There is not a safety risk identifiable to having workers in the building at that time. But during that time there will be a lot of commotion and lots of traffic in and out of the building.” Erickson and the commission decided that the process would flow much smoother if the building wasn’t open during the cleaning. McLean County Sheriff Don Charging said that several of his employees have submitted letters voicing their concerns with the current courthouse issues. Commissioner Julie Hudson-Schenfisch asked if the employees knew that there was a different air source to the sheriff’s side of the building. Charging said that there is one employee in the department who has received a doctor’s note excusing them from work during the cleaning and sealing project. Charging said, “I will be here Thursday and Friday, we will make the adjustments.” When the courthouse recently found and disposed of bats within its facility, many of the commissioners and the McLean County residents began to question the long-term effects of the bats, and the longevity that the courthouse may have. In relation to this, the commissioners met with architect Al Fitterer.

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