Construction crews might have used mallets during the renovations to the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse in Independence. County officials and judges from the 16th Circuit Court used a similar tool to commemorate the courthouse's reopening Thursday -- gavels -- as the 13-month construction project will be completed at year's end.
"Once again we've taken an older facility and made it new again," Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders declared after the "gavel in" ceremony.
To handle the increasing number of cases being filed in the eastern part of the county, the courthouse needed to be remodeled to create five additional courtrooms. Using existing revenues, the county incurred no new debt to fund the $7.3 million project. Other changes to the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse, originally built in 1956 and last remodeled in 1972, included building a new accessible entry, installing a new elevator, refurbishing the existing elevator and upgrading the heating, cooling and security systems.