Slowly but surely the Shelby County Courthouse is recovering from the fire that occurred on October 20. Sheriff Randy Sims who by statutes is the custodian of the courthouse, said the State’s Attorney and Circuit Clerk’s offices are now open on the second floor.

The main courtroom on the second floor is still closed and will be for some time. Circuit Court Judge Michael Kiley and the County Board’s Public Building Committee have decided this would be a good time to start the remodeling that is planned for that courtroom.

The plans to remodel that courtroom were in the works before the fire. That courtroom was last remodeled in the mid 60s. Kiley had informed the county board at the December meeting that the general consensus of the judge, Public Buildings Committee and other attorneys who were consulted, was that the county should go with the middle plans of three different plans drawn up by the architect. The architectural firm chosen to do the work is Hance Utz and Associates out of Mattoon.

“After the holidays we need to talk to the architect and work out some small details, then the project can be let for bids,” said Kiley.

Circuit Clerk Cheryl Roley said court will continue to be held in courtroom B on the main floor of the courthouse.

Sims went on to say the electrician has a few days of work left. The new telephone system has been installed. Sims said the alarm system still has to have some work done.

Jim Sphar Electric has done the electrical work on the courthouse. He and his employee Mike Canada have worked for several weeks getting the building back up with new wiring.

“We are very close to being done,” said Sphar. “We need to run the electric up to the tower clock and finish a few odds and ends.”

County Board member Ralph May is Chairman of the Public Buildings Committee and he said that committee meet with the insurance adjuster on Wednesday, December 28th. The county has paid the bills for the courthouse restoration out of their funds until a settlement can be reached with the insurance company.

“The adjuster said things looked favorable, but we don’t know for sure yet and won’t until we actually hear from the insurance company,” said May.

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