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County pushes forward with old courthouse
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Work on the renovation of the historic Effingham Courthouse should be completed by the middle of October 2010, county commissioners were told Tuesday afternoon.

Commissioners unanimously approved the final design and budget of the rehabilitation project at their meeting Tuesday.

The courthouse has been undergoing selective demolition since this summer. The rehab work is being done by JT Turner Construction, Greenline Architecture and Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung.

“It’s been pretty neat to go over there and see the project move along,” commission Chairman Dusty Zeigler said. “We eagerly anticipate the fruits of their labor.”

Slated to move into the old courthouse, once work is completed, are the tax assessors office, the tax commissioner, the county GIS department and the district attorney. The tax assessors and tax commissioner will occupy the first floor, and the GIS and the district attorney will move into the second floor.

The original budget for the project, which is funded through special purpose local option sales tax receipts, was $3.22 million. With changes to the work as recommended by the contractor and those requested by the county, the old courthouse rehabilitation is expected to come in under budget by $176.

Commissioners also reviewed the interior materials and finishes, including carpet, tiles and lighting fixtures, to be installed.

The county may hold a public event for the courthouse in January and is working on plans to remove a time capsule placed in the cornerstone on Feb. 22, 1909, as part of George Washington’s birthday celebration.

The courthouse, originally built at a cost of $20,000, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.