Rosedale Courthouse reopens Monday
by Rory Doyle
Feb 01, 2013 | 1622 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The First Judicial District Courthouse in Rosedale will host an official reopening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Monday. The historic building has undergone a number of major restoration projects in recent years.
The First Judicial District Courthouse in Rosedale will host an official reopening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Monday. The historic building has undergone a number of major restoration projects in recent years.
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Bolivar County Board of Supervisors President Andrew Williams is anxiously awaiting Monday's official reopening of the First Judicial District Courthouse in Rosedale.

Williams, a native of Rosedale, said the building has meant quite a bit to west Bolivar Countians for nearly a century.

"The courthouse is vital — a nucleus — to the community," said Williams. "We are excited all the services will be available again."

A ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. to honor the completion of restoration projects that have disrupted the flow of the building's different offices for years.

Tours of the facility, speakers, refreshments at each department office and an announcement of full court services are scheduled for the event.

The celebration will begin after the board convenes in Rosedale for its first monthly meeting beginning at 9 a.m.

Because of reconstruction, the board has not met in Rosedale since April of 2012.

Williams said repairs were funded by approximately $1 million of grant support from the U.S. Department of Urban Development, United States Department of Agriculture and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

An additional cost of about $300,000 went to the county — leading to an approximate 70/30 grant-funded overhaul.

In 2009, Bolivar County Administrator Will Hooker and a board-delegated crew of local leaders traveled to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., to rally for the financial support.

The majority of restoration focused on building stabilization, a problem that continued to progress as the years passed.

"About 70 percent of the work went into re-stabilization efforts," added Williams. "This problem was causing some of the walls to lean and pull away from the original structure."

Hooker explained that unstable ground was the root of the problem.

"Soft soil and the building's poor foundation played a role in the stabilization issues," said Hooker. "Over the years, the weight of the internal vaults in the building and the ground giving and pulling contributed to this problem.

"We've made repairs to have a much stronger foundation, and we'll now be able to utilize the north wing of the building that wasn’t available before."

Installing a new roof and a number of interior retouches were also big parts of the restoration.

Rosedale Mayor Carey Estes said he is pleased with the progress and the new look.

"I think a wonderful job has been done in restoring the courthouse into a safe and beautiful facility," said Estes. "The people and records will now be much safer.

The courthouse serves many purposes beyond a house of law for the county's western citizens. Residents handle tax payments, vehicle tags and even cast their voting ballots in the building.

"It's a big deal to finally get things running to full capacity again," said Williams. "It's important that we don't let it get in a state of disarray again. We'll do a better job with upkeep and maintenance.

"We're excited — the courthouse is almost 100 years old, but with all the repairs it looks like a new building."

Hooker said the project was successful through a collaborative effort.

"This was the result of a lot of people working together for a common goal," said Hooker. "It's been a long struggle but we're happy to finally have everything fixed."