Courthouse renovation project moves closer

Supervisors discussed the courthouse renovation project, finalizing five members of an advisory committee to include the county engineer, Jeff Dungan; economic developer, Pam Keaton; Merrilyn Ginn, Tim Jones, Tonya Wilson and Jane Ard. Supervisor Ken Craft suggested naming the five to the committee and naming Bobbie Lewis as an alternate.
The county has up to $674,000 to accomplish the project. A $250,000 appropriation from the legislature along with $250,000 in the county’s share of BP settlement money will be applied to the project. Additionally, $174,000 is available in CARES funding that might be used for the project.
State Rep. Bill Pigott was instrumental in obtaining the recent $250,000 appropriation. “The Walthall County Courthouse was considered for an appropriation for the last few years and this year we were able to secure $250,000 to continue the renovation process,” Pigott said. “I was also excited about working with the Walthall County EDA to start the conversion process of the former Walthall Hotel into a facility that will aid in workforce development for our area. Having SWCC, MS State, and other institutions offering classes and workshops in the publicly-owned facility will bring additional activity to downtown Tylertown. The old hotel will be beautiful when restored and its appearance should spur private investment nearby.”
Supervisor Lloyd Bullock asked about courthouse windows–noting that recent renovation efforts in the old building have also been done to make the building more energy efficient, such as the replacement of older fluorescent lighting with updated LED lighting, leading to making the building more energy efficient.
Dungan said the Waycaster Architect firm is “really good with old buildings” and is familiar with archives and history requirements. He said there are companies that specialize in replacing historical windows with windows that meet appearance requirements yet meet modern-day energy saving standards.

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