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Elevator threatens status of courtrooms
courthouse elevator inside.jpg
The elevator at the courthouse is on its last leg, county officials say. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

The Warren County Courthouse is on the line when it comes to its elevator being on its last leg. If the elevator is not fixed by the summer, county officials say both of the courtrooms upstairs will be forced to relocate.

The elevator in the courthouse was last inspected at the end of the summer in 2019. During that inspection, the state inspector said he would shut down the elevator if it wasn’t fixed. 

Although the elevator has continuously been patched, it will be decommissioned unless a plan is in place to replace the elevator, resulting in the courtrooms upstairs closing and having to be relocated. 

“Otis Elevator Company came and patched up the elevator following the inspector’s visit, which will buy us another year’s time with the state inspector,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley. “After one year, if we don’t have a new elevator in place, it will be decommissioned. We will no longer be able to use the upstairs courtrooms and will have to find alternative spaces. He’s allowed us to do this for way too long, and we just can’t do it any longer.”

Duncan Elevator Company looked at the elevator in October and gave a report.  The reconstruction of the elevator will be bid out and include everything recommended. The cost is estimated to be $104,000. Elevator companies, including Otis, National and United, are expected to bid.

“We’re on borrowed time and there will be no place for the courts to hold session,” says Haley.

The project will replace the hydraulics, motor, electrical items and technical parts which make the elevator run. The cab will be updated but not completely renovated. The service contract the county has with Otis for $8,000 per year has expired. Quotes must be received from other elevator companies. 

“This is crucial. There’s really no choice unless we want to build another courthouse,” said Commissioner Robert Hennessee.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee unanimously voted to move forward with the repair of the courthouse elevator.