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Replacement of courthouse elevator to begin
courthouse elevator inside.jpg
The elevator at the courthouse is on its last leg, county officials say. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

The elevator at Warren County Courthouse could be out of operation for three weeks. Replacement is slated to begin this Friday, July 16.

The county Building and Grounds Committee met Tuesday and received an update on the courthouse elevator. Its $160,000 replacement was approved by the Warren County Commission to be paid out of grant money allocated to Warren County government by Gov. Bill Lee.

“The elevator installation is supposed to begin on Friday,” said Clerk and Master Myra Mara. “They’re delivering some equipment on Thursday. I understand they are going to do the bulk of it over the weekend.”

Commissioners approved “piggybacking” on a municipal bid with KONE to do the work. The city of McMinnville also used that existing contract to replace the elevator at City Hall.

“They estimated three weeks as the timeframe for completion,” said Mara. “Hopefully it won’t take any longer than that.”

Without the elevator, the courthouse is not ADA compliant. People with disabilities cannot access the second floor, which is where the courtrooms are located.

Commissioner Robert Hennessee asked, “How is that going to affect your docket?”

“We don’t know yet,” said Mara. “It will effect General Sessions the most. Tuesdays and Thursdays are probably going to be the most difficult. We’ll just have to take it a day at a time.”

Hennessee suggested use of the courtroom at Warren County Administrative Offices. However, Mara said that would require records to also be relocated, as well as the judges, attorneys and everyone involved in cases.

County Executive Jimmy Haley said consideration can be given to using the administrative office building for court if something unforeseen occurs with the elevator replacement project and it takes much longer to complete.

The governor’s grant money can only be used on one-time expenditures, such as capital improvement projects.