Finishing touches put on the Franklin County Courthouse

Crews in Franklin County are putting the final touches on a new courthouse.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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BENTON, IL. (KFVS) - It’s a multi-million-dollar project that is set to open ahead of schedule. One southern Illinois county is working to put the finishing touches on their new courthouse.

The Franklin County Courthouse is set to be dedicated in April after starting construction in August of 2020.

Randall Crocker is a Franklin County Board Member and tells me the Franklin County Courthouse construction project is in it’s final phase of construction.

“Mostly floor work, they’re working on that today. You can hear it in the background, then scraping the floors. And a little bit of cabinetry work for the security area. Other than that it’s basically all done,” said Crocker.

The finishing touches are being drawn out, but safety will be a top priority in the new building.

“So much more secure. The prisoners they bring them to the Courtrooms, will be isolated from the public so much differently and just so many positives about this building that I hope the people see and appreciate,” said Crocker.

Franklin County Circuit Clerk Jim Muir says he is ready to move into his new office space.

“We’re very excited. You know it’s our second move in 2 years and we got a lot of things to bring back with us and files and things like that. I haven’t heard anybody complain. I’m excited about it, I’m looking for the challenges of it to do it again,” said Muir.

Muir tells me they will be moving into their space April 25th and throughout that week and Court will begin in the new building on May 2.

Muir tells me the final cost for the project is around $18 million.

“One of the things we talked about was the 1 cent sales tax, how long it would be in place. And the sales tax incredibly has gone up in Franklin county. And the projected payoff on this new courthouse is 2027,” said Muir.

Crocker says fixing the old courthouse would’ve cost more than building a new one.

“The old courthouse just wasn’t built correctly the way things are today. To build onto it or to try and remodel it, would of been very very expensive proposition and probably cost a lot more than this building did,” said Crocker.

And as the final touches finish up, Crocker is excited for all of Franklin County to see their new home.

“I’m excited for the entire county, for what this has brought to the county and a lot of renewed optimism I believe,” said Crocker.

The Franklin County Courthouse will be holding a dedication ceremony on April 22. They are encouraging the public to come.

Tours of the new building will be available after the ceremony.

A special Coin and Book will also be at the dedication ceremony. The book will include pictures of the old courthouse, construction on the new and plenty more.

The coin will have the old courthouse on one side and the new one on another.

The square is going to be closed from 9 a.m. into the afternoon on the day of the dedication ceremony.

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