Changes are coming to the Madison County Courthouse.
The Main Street building, which currently houses circuit court upstairs, as well as the circuit court clerk’s office, and juvenile and domestic relations court downstairs, is in need of some renovations. The building underwent a major overhaul a little more than a decade ago with one phase completed in 2007 and an additional phase completed nearly four years later. However, problems persist, especially with security.
Circuit Court Clerk Leeta Louk said her area of the building, which is located along the main hall upstairs, needs increased security. She said people often gather in front of the long desk, disturbing her clerks with conversation and occasionally, arguments. She said there is also no protection for the judge, who when standing at the copier, is easily accessible to those walking by. In addition, people from the downstairs court tend to congregate upstairs, especially when the court docket is running behind. Another major issue? The doors are controlled via a computer program and automatically open at a set time and lock at a set time daily. This is especially an issue on snow days, when the doors will open even if court is closed.
The latter is somewhat of an easy fix. Madison County Director of Facilities and Maintenance Roger Berry said he’s working to get a software update which solve the lock issues. As for the other security needs, Louk, Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney Clarissa Berry and Madison County Circuit Court Judge Dale Durrer met with Madison County Supervisor Clay Jackson earlier this month to form a plan.
That plan, crudely sketched by Jackson, adds glass across the entire front of the main desk, with three transaction windows as well as a window to the clerk’s door. The glass will have two doors, one on each end of the main desk creating a secure area.
“This will give some security and noise control,” Jackson said. “It should be something we can handle pretty promptly.”
He estimated the project should cost less than $20,000.