'Up Close and Personal' with the Historic Thomas County Courthouse

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

From the clock tower of the historic Thomas County courthouse, streets in the City of Roses unfold like the square patches of an old quilt.

But now it's the courthouse itself that needs some mending at the seams -- and repairs are already well underway by a dedicated crew.

Phil Sanders works on the engineering side of things and says, "It's nice -- the people we work with are really good, they're just down home people, very skilled in construction, so it's a great job."

County employees say the courthouse they're refurbishing is the third of its kind built on the same site, and the wood beam ceilings -- carefully preserved to maintain the building's legacy -- hold a wealth of Georgian history.

Lyndall Knight has worked on the building in some form or fashion for decades -- first as a private contractor, and now as the county's building maintenance director.

When it comes to the courthouse's restoration, Knight says it's 'about time': "I am very happy to see it going through a major overhaul -- it's long due -- it's been about 70 years since they really had a major overhaul."

Despite being gutted, stripped, and in some places, even selectively demolished, the historic courthouse manages to maintain a sense of dignity -- and those working on it say it won't be long before its halls return to their original 'grandeur'.

Construction on the courthouse is scheduled to be completed by December of 2012.

Funding for the project comes from a Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, voted into effect in 2006.

Once the project is completed, the refurbished courthouse will serve as the County Tax Collector's office. Meeting rooms will also be located in the building.

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