MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) – After more than 10 years of discussing what they should do about their courthouse, Mississippi County residents have finally decided to renovate the 100-year-old building in Blytheville.
The decision is one that has brought the county together after 72 percent of voters approved the $14 million project back in February.
County Judge John Nelson said choosing to save the building is a way to show just how important the county’s history is.
“When you do things like you tear down 100-year-old buildings or you walk off and leave them I think you send a message to our youth that our history is not important and it’s not,” Nelson said.
The courthouse in Blytheville has been in desperate need of updates for several years now.
The county has been going back and forth on renovating the old courthouse or building a new one for a while, but they ultimately decided to preserve the history of the town.
“Buildings such as these will not be built again, at least not in the near future,” said Nelson. “It’s very ornate, it’s a very beautiful architecture so we’ve got to do everything we can to save that.”
The county will also be giving the Osceola courthouse a $2 million renovation.
Judge Nelson said construction on the projects are starting as soon as possible.
They’re hoping everything will be completed in the next couple of years.