The Jackson County Courthouse sits right in the middle of Marianna, but some county residents say it hasn’t looked like a suitable centerpiece for their county in years.
Remodeled in 1963 with a modern architectural style, many have problems with the building’s design. They say it replaced a much prettier domed structure that fit its surroundings much better. Now on top of those concerns, the building itself has started to show signs of wear.
“I don’t think people are as proud of it as they were,” said Marianna resident Ann Jones.
“It looks run down, like it needs some repairs.”
The county has been saving money for those repairs for almost ten years. When the economy allowed it between 2002 and 2008, Jackson County received State grant money from the Small County Courthouse Grant in Aid Fund. As the name suggests, it’s a grant specifically designed to make repairs to small county courthouses.
The County has saved up $1 million for the fund, and now they are ready to spend it. They’ve hired Paul Donofro & Associates as architects for the project.
“We’re going to make the building appear to be a little more traditional and a little more compatible with the surrounding buildings,” said Paul Donofro Jr.
They’ll do that by adding a more pronounced traditional roof, taking off the metal grills on the building to show off replaced windows, and adding brick to the building façade. Handrails and benches will also be added.
Construction is slated to start in May or June of this year, with a tentative finish scheduled for the end of 2011.