Massac county weighing options on historic courthouse

Banterra bank in Metropolis, Illinois decided to donate their current bank building to Massac County for a new courthouse. It’s been one year and the bank’s new location will be completed by November.

The courthouse was built 1942 and due to financial constraints, it has not been kept up well. The ceiling is falling in around the courtroom, water damage is prevalent everywhere, and more than 100 windows are cracked, according to County Commissioner Jerel Childers.

“The building is sound. It’s just not updated at all. We have to turn off the water heater to run the air conditioner,” Childers added. He wants to keep the building, though. “It’s been here since I can remember,” he said.

Banterra bank branch manager, Shain Lloyd, says this was a way to give back to the community. It was too much building and most of it wasn’t being used anyway. “Three floors, a lot of unused space, making it really inefficient,” he added.

Childers says “The space isn’t enough. “We’d have to build onto that bank building to get the whole courthouse in it.”

Tearing down the courthouse would cost $1.6 million. Adding onto the bank and building a justice building would be $6-7 million. Or, selling the bank and renovating the courthouse would set the county back around $7 million.

They have options. “We may stay right here. We may take the bank building and build another building right here, south of the jail,” Childers said. 

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