Marble Staircase In Limestone County Courthouse Safe For Now

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - The district and circuit court system in Limestone County could be moving to a different location for a while. That's one idea back on the table regarding renovations of the 97-year old Limestone County Courthouse. If it seems to you that county officials don't yet have a working plan for the renovations, well you're right.

You may have heard the last of the idea of tearing out one of the two original marble stairways to make room for a new elevator. County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee says they're taking another look at simply expanding the existing elevator shaft.

"I don't know who the architecht was on that building but it was a smart person who designed that building. It's a great building and its still functional at 97 years down the road," Menefee tells WHNT News 19.

Menefee says it would involve moving the court operations out of the courthouse for at least a year while the work is done. But the end result would be a more functional building, added courtroom space, and use of the top floor that's currently inaccessible.

"You know, I don't know how long that building's going to be able to exist but I'd say with 4 courtrooms, we would probably go another 20, possibly 30 years, which would be big," Menefee said.

And of course none of these plans have been carved into stone yet and that's why it appears that the plan keeps changing. Chairman Menefee says they want to explore all of the possible options, not only in an effort to preserve the building but to keep it useful for the next 20 to 30 years.

By the way, those two large trees on the courthouse lawn we've been telling you about, the county has now hired a contractor to remove them. The trees tower over the courthouse, but large limbs have been falling creating a safety issue. The work will take place sometime next month.

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