An Update on Thomas County's New Courthouse

Hazel Wilkes celebrated her 23rd anniversary as a courthouse employee Tuesday, something she can hardly believe.

"I've seen a lot of people go and come."

One thing Wilkes says she hasn't seen over the years is any major improvements to the courthouse. Wilkes says the courthouse has outgrown its space.

"Our files are overflowing; we don't have any storage and any workspace."

Courthouse vaults are bursting at the seams with records dating back to 1825.

"A lot of the files are in another building because we've run out of space."

Soon it may be up to the public to decide whether a new courthouse will be built, if a SPLOST Referendum is approved.

"Commissioners have asked the county attorney to draw up a resolution at the February 10 meeting, asking the Probate Judge to call a referendum in March, for voter approval of a SPLOST."

The one-cent tax will pay for the new courthouse and the renovation of the old one.

"We believe what we're proposing is a benefit to the people because the people are being served by the court system."

Wilkes says if everything goes her way, there will be more memorable years to come in the new building.

The county manager says the $20 million project would begin immediately, once the SPLOST is approved by voters.