February 26, 2013 10:27:56 AM
Carl Smith - [email protected]
Last week, county supervisors picked local architectural firm Thomas S. Jones and Associates to manage almost $300,000 worth of renovations to the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.
The county recently received a $285,000 grant for maintenance work, and County Administrator Don Posey says most of the money will be used to spruce up the almost-50-year-old structure's appearance and aesthetics.
The project will address interior and exterior appearances, Posey said, including lighting, carpeting and painting needs. Additionally, he said funding will also help organize and climate control the courthouse's basement which houses Oktibbeha County records.
Posey is still identifying courthouse needs for a master project list. It is unknown when renovations will begin.
"We're going to stretch out every bit of funding we can for projects," he said.
In addition to grant-funded work, Posey said the local garden club donated $5,000 to purchase outdoor lighting fixtures and landscape the green space surrounding the building. The county will pay for installing the light fixtures.
"These will be placed around the courthouse, and are definitely needed for lighting the area up at night," he said.
District 5 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said the upkeep projects are much needed since traffic at the county courthouse has increased over the past year. Trainer, who serves as Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors president, says he's received numerous public comments about the courthouse's degrading appearances.
"The first impression for most is the lasting impression," he said. "We're fortunate to be in a position where we can provide functional answers to much-needed improvements."
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch