A first look at the Limestone County Courthouse project

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Fences and signs still surround the century-old courthouse in the heart of Limestone County.

"We should be done by somewhere in the third week in May, first week in June," said Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbough.

It's been closed for years, and will look extremely different.

"The entire floorplan has been reconfigured," began Yarbrough. "We only had one large courtroom, now we have four large courtrooms."

But extra work was put in to keep much of its century-old pieces, everything down to the floorboards.

"All the ornate trim that's 100 years old, we took it off, saved it, refinished it, stained it, and put it back where it was. We preserved the history," he said.

The original marble walls and staircase, even the same bench where Judge Horton made his historic decision on the Scottsboro Boys remain in place, as well as the original banisters at which Limestone County attorneys tried cases for 100 years.

But it's not all old school, it has modern-day conveniences such as fiber optics and data ports.

The renovation is behind schedule because they had to fix 70-year-old work on the building that compromised its structural integrity.

Yarbrough explains that when air conditioning was put in place decades ago, it appears contractors knocked holes in the walls in places meant to hold up the building.

As part of the current project, they built a steel superstructure within the masonry structure to reinforce it.

Though the repairs put them behind schedule, Yarbrough promises it will be something the people of the county will be proud of.

The circuit judges and district attorney are slated to move into the renovated courthouse in July.