Pearl River County Courthouse renovations nearly complete
Published 7:00 am Friday, June 16, 2017
After five years of planning and six months of renovations, the Pearl River County Courthouse in Poplarville should be complete within the month, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
The focus of the renovation project is to maintain the integrity of the historic building while updating the interior to meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, which ensures handicapped individuals have equal access to the facility’s public services, Lumpkin said.
Following a walk-through conducted several days ago to check the progress of the renovations, Lumpkin said all that is left to do is touch up the paint and fix a couple of plug-ins.
“It was not easy finding ways to preserve the historic integrity of the courthouse while renovating the rest of the building. It was a lot of back and forth between the county, the U.S. Justice Department and the Mississippi Department of History and Archives,” Lumpkin said.
Previous coverage states that in 2014 the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors set a total budget of $1.2 million for the renovations, half of which came from a Community Development Block Grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. With nearly all of the construction complete, Lumpkin said the project stayed within the proposed budget.
To transform the courthouse so it was in compliance with ADA regulations, many amenities of the building had to be renovated and modified to allow easy access for wheelchair bound visitors. To make that happen, the county hired Landry and Lewis Architects and BW Sullivan Contracting to do the following:
• Renovate the existing restrooms to provide more space for the wheelchairs and install handrails.
• Install a new handicap ramp to allow easy access into the building.
• Construct additional handicap parking.
• Modify the front and side doors to open and close with little resistance while keeping the original doorknobs on the front doors for historical purposes.
• Renovate the second floor restroom and add two additional restrooms to the floor.
• Remove the raised floor in the courtroom on the second floor.
• Install a sound system compatible with headphones for the hearing and visually impaired.
• Construct wheelchair accessible seating in the courtroom.
During the renovations, leaks from the roof were found and repaired inside in the courtroom.
“After the last few rains we’ve had recently, we have seen no roof leaks in the building,” he said.
Just as predicted, Lumpkin said the construction should be complete by the end of June with hopes of the courthouse being furnished sometime in July.