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Fentress Improving Courthouse

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Fentress County will soon begin upgrading and improving its historic courthouse.

County Executive Jimmy Johnson said some of the needed improvements are long overdue.

“We’ll have another bathroom put in. We have to have certain things taken down where the height will have to be more feasible for any ADA compliance…We’ll be doing a lot of work up in the old courthouse. We’ll be taking down some of the wood paneling off the walls. We’ll be putting down new flooring. It will just be an all-around capital project for the courthouse to renovate it.”

Johnson said some of the flooring has been in use since the late 1970s. The work is expected to cost around $650,000 dollars. Johnson said state grant money will help fund the project.

“We’re thankful the money has come from Governor Lee’s support grants that he proposed and the legislature passed,” Johnson said. “That will help all 95 counties with money and funds that will help do some work in their counties. We’re very appreciative of that.”

One ongoing area of concern is, Johnson said, is with the courthouse’s boiler.

“We have a heating and air system that was put in here in 1968 or 1970,” Johnson said. “When you go in and light the furnace in the wintertime, sometimes the whole floor catches on fire. So, we thought it might be a good time to do something else.”

In addition to the HVAC upgrade, Johnson said bids were accepted for finishing work on the courthouse and to bring Fentress County up-to-date on federal compliance.

“With the ADA project, that will bring all of Fentress County 100 percent up to ADA compliance,” Johnson said. “That was passed and that award was given to G and S bids here in Fentress County. He came in at a substantial amount lower than the other two bidders.”


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