ROXBORO, N.C. — An architectural engineering firm has been approved to conduct a feasibility study for proposed renovations to the Person County Courthouse and the building that formerly housed the Department of Social Services.
The $12,000 study by MHA Works of Chapel Hill is intended to help county officials determine how to proceed toward reallocation of office space in the courthouse. The engineering study will include development of measured drawings of the facilities so that any future work can be based on accurate floor plan information. Assessment will be done to bring the facilities into compliance with building codes.
The former old jail space, estimated at 2,400 square feet, on the top floor of the courthouse, is vacant. The study would help determine how best to use that space. The district attorney and judges have indicated they would be willing to move their offices to the top floor, citing greater security.
The oldest portion of the courthouse that faces Main Street was designed by Charles C. Hartman and built by George W. Kane in 1930. It was the fourth courthouse built on the site, according to state records, succeeding earlier courthouses from 1794, 1824 and 1883.
Cost estimates to build a new courthouse are near $40 million. Commissioner Larry Bowes suggested that every year the renovation project is delayed it could cost an additional $500,000 to build.