BRYAN COUNTY, GA – MARCH 15, 2021 – Bryan County recently completed an extensive update and improvement project on its 83-year-old courthouse. The Neoclassical Revival-style building was originally built in 1938 once Pembroke was declared the county seat. The project, which began in 2019, included a total overhaul of the courtroom, and much-needed updates and improvements throughout the rest of the building. This is the first major renovation of the courthouse in over 30 years, although there have been smaller upgrades, additions and some “sprucing up” since then.
Lori Tyson, county clerk and administrative assistant to County Administrator Ben Taylor, has handled a lot of the tasks and planning associated with the project. She said the county’s leaders understand how important it is to preserve the courthouse’s history, and they kept they aimed to do just that through the renovation.
In the name of historic preservation, the courtroom’s original pews will still be used. Several had to be repaired and fixed up, but Tyson said they’re still in good condition. They’ve been re-stained a slightly darker shade and are ready to be used for another 82 years. Some more modern updates include a large-screen TV in the courtroom, new microphones, speakers, and monitors jury members can use if they’re required to view a video or deposition. New paint, flooring, woodworking, and window treatments were also installed. The judge’s chamber and restroom underwent a total remodel that also included new paint and flooring.
Throughout the main areas of the courthouse, new floors were installed – carpet and luxury vinyl tile. Fresh coats of paint were applied throughout the building, all bathrooms were remodeled, new security desks flank the front entryway, and the county clerk’s office is now home to a new service window, updated furniture and public search portals.
Tyson said that she and the team uncovered many quirks and interesting bits of information about the courthouse. For example, when ordering blinds for all the courthouse windows, she learned that one size certainly does not fit all.
“The courthouse has a lot of windows and they all appear to be the same size. I thought I could just measure one window and then order however many sets of blinds we’d need in that one size,” Tyson said. “You definitely can’t do that! Because the windows are original, pretty much every one of them is a different size. They all vary by a few inches. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough so that we had to measure them all.”
Overall, Tyson, Taylor and the rest of Bryan County’s leadership team hope the community’s residents like the newly updated courthouse and will enjoy conducting business there.
For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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