Courthouse projects near finish line

Renovation work is inching ever closer to the finish line for a couple of offices inside the Garvin County Courthouse.

The projects now in the final stages are a whole new office area coming for the Garvin County Sheriff's Department and a second space opening up for the court clerk's office.

“The project looks great,” said architect Matt Graves, who was accompanied by Sheriff Jim Mullett while providing an update to county commissioners at a meeting this week.

“The one thing holding us back is the fire alarm requirement,” he said, adding it's not really a problem but more of a formality.

“A fire marshal told us on day one that no modifications were required. We just need someone to sign off on it.”

Moments after Monday's meeting various staff from the sheriff's office were busy going back and forth moving a few things over into what will soon be their new space.

That space being remodeled was once was the home to the district attorney and county assessor on the first floor of the courthouse's annex.

When both of those offices moved up the annex' newer second floor, the vacated ground floor space has remained mostly unused for some time.

Now work is about to be completed allowing the sheriff and his deputies and staff to spread out with more office space as the department will occupy the entire first floor of the annex.

Mullett said plans are to move computers and other technology this week into the new office area, which could open to the public in the near future.

“We're slowly moving ourselves over, setting up all our stations,” he said.

In the latter stages of the former sheriff’s tenure, Larry Rhodes, the goal was to remodel the space as a way to increase the jail’s capacity from the current range in the 70s to well over 100.

That plan was later determined to be impractical because the space vacated is separate and well away from the jail on the opposite end of the annex. Instead, it was decided to expand the department's office area and use other space for inmate medical care and evidence storage.

Work is also moving along to remodel a small corner office on the courthouse's first floor, which when finished will be used as a second office for the county court clerk.

Plans are to use the office for civil matters, while the third floor office is expected to remain the place for criminal filings.

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