March 4, 2010

Commission to vacate original courthouse

Commission to vacate original courthouse

It’s official. The process to close down the original McLean County Courthouse structure has begun. The decision was made during a hearing in court chambers Tuesday.
But, county officials note, because the building is being closed down for health concerns does not mean there are plans to demolish the original structure. That decision will be made later once county officials are able to hear what options will be most economically feasible.
About 25 citizens gathered in courthouse chambers to hear what county officials had to say about the structure. After hearing testimony from a number of officials and taking comments from those in attendance, commissioners voted unanimously to close the original structure to the public, citing health concerns, and to begin the process of relocating employees.
Staff will be shifted to space in the Law Enforcement Center or the newer 1963 portion of the courthouse. Court hearings have already been moved for the time being to the Washburn Memorial Hall.
County officials said it is important to note that the original building will not immediately be shut down. A transition must take place. About a dozen employees must be relocated. County officials note that the public would be kept informed on when the building is shut down.
“It’s a process that is going to take a period of time,” said Commission Chair Steve Lee.
The logistics in moving is a big issue. It’s just not a simple process. Many steps must be taken, including ventilation.

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