FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2019
Contact: Marshanna Hester
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. today welcomed county staff and community members back to the downtown Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E. 12th Street, with breakfast pastries and coffee as the facility reopened for business as scheduled.
“It was great to see everyone come back through the doors excited and happy to be back,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “This has been a very difficult process for everyone, but I am proud of the tremendous display of teamwork to keep the County moving forward. Today was our small way of saying thank you.”
The building has been closed since January 31 when a large underground water line outside of the downtown courthouse burst causing significant flooding in the basement. On February 4, a secondary water line break occurred inside of the courthouse, resulting in significant cosmetic damage to multiple floors on the east side of the building.
Over the past two weeks, county staff and contractors have been working around the clock to dry out the affected areas and begin the restoration process. Work included repairing or replacing water-damaged ceilings, walls, carpets and furniture. Additionally, a qualified environmental testing firm conducted tests to ensure that the environment was safe prior to county associates return to work.
Some areas of the courthouse remain under construction and closed to the public. Those areas are the five damaged courtrooms and offices on the east side of the fourth, fifth and sixth floors, as well as the Court Administration area on the third floor. Crews will remain on site and will continue to work for several months to restore the building and necessary spaces.
“We must invest in this courthouse if we plan to continue to use it, but we must also understand that regardless of the improvements we make, this will still be a nearly 90-year-old building,” White said. “We are working with an architect to ensure we’re doing all we can to preserve the integrity of the historic building as we put together a long-term plan to ensure it remains functional for generations to come.”
Due to ongoing construction, citizens are advised to arrive early to conduct county business. Additionally, the offices of the Clerk of the County Legislature and Legislative Auditor will operate from 201 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 201, in Independence for the remainder of this week. Information regarding the location of trials and hearings can be found on the 16th Circuit Court’s website at www.16thCircuit.org.
Pictures from this morning’s return to the courthouse, as well as areas that remain under construction, are attached for your use.