MDAH tours Lauderdale County Courthouse

By  | 

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Lauderdale County Courthouse has had a big question mark on it when it comes to renovating or moving out. A group from The Mississippi Department of Archives and History toured the historic building and began a working relationship with the board of supervisors.

"Obviously there needs for maintenance and repair. There's obviously a lot of people in some small places," MDAH Director Katie Blount says.

Dist. 3 Supervisor Josh Todd says they are looking at various grants and ways to renovate the building rather than leaving it empty

"I think we are leaning more towards staying in downtown. We wanted to get them down here to see what they have to say firsthand," Todd says.

Todd says there are two major issues that stand in the way of staying at the courthouse. The first one is the jail that sits on top of the courthouse. The board wants to remove it. The second issue is the Ulmer building. He says the Ulmer building would be cheaper to tear down than turn it into office space.

"We can't renovate the Ulmer building and the courthouse at the same time,” Todd explains. “But if they would let us renovate the courthouse and tear down, then that's a win-win,"

When it comes to renovating the courthouse, they would have to move employees to another location. That location could be the Annex Building. Todd says they would have to renovate that one beforehand.

"We could possibly lease properties, but then there is no one building in Meridian to house everybody," Todd says.

The board expressed to MDAH that they want to get things done in a timely manner.

"We are here to help them figure out how to stay in the building and use it well," Blount says.

The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors hope to make a decision in the next few months.