Lee County Courthouse in need of renovations

Lee County Courthouse in need of renovations

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Last, month an architect recommended to Lee County Commissioners that significant modifications need to be made to the Lee County Court House, in order to make it a better functioning facility.

Now the Lee County Commission is looking to the future, because the courthouse has been a functionally obsolete building for years.

"I think it's going to be one of those things that's not only functionally is it going to be good for us in the long term, I think it's going to be something that the citizens, especially the ones that live in Opelika, can get excited about," explains Lee County Administrator, Roger Rendleman.

One goal of this renovation is to be able to keep offices at the courthouse's South 9th Street location in downtown Opelika and not have to utilize the land of the Lee County Justice Center on Gateway Drive.

The plan would allow for more space for the current overcrowding and future growth.

"We actually came up with a plan to be able to stay downtown and stay downtown for a long time and actually be able to keep this historic courthouse as a central part of county government," says Rendleman.

The building was originally constructed in the late 1800's, with its most recent renovations in the 1980s.

Rendleman believes the court house is showing its age due the number of people coming through it each day.

This new project will allow the historical features of the original courthouse to be highlighted.

"One of the biggest thing is the old jail that was built sometime in the 1950s," explains Rendleman, "The initial plan is to take this old building that wasn't part of the original courthouse off the building and make the back of it fitting for the courthouse and have a little more curb appeal if you will."

Currently cost estimates for the renovations have not been developed.

With the most aggressive schedule, bids for the project would be let in 11 months with a total project time table of three years.

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