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Clay County Courthouse Awarded $85K Grant For Restorations

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clay County Courthouse Awarded $85K Grant For Restorations

The Clay County Courthouse received some $85,000  in grant money for continued efforts with its restoration and upgrade project.

Curator Thomas Watson said the funding will go towards three main projects: doors, floors, and theatre lights. He said the first project to tackle will be restoring the doors and getting new floors.

“And get them put back in and get the thresholds put in so we can get the floor down,” Watson said. “Because a lot of the old doors they’re sagging and dragging on the floor so we can’t get the floors done until we get the doors in good shape.”

Watson said they had received a rolling $5,000 grant yearly for some time. He said the opportunity arose to apply for a larger pot of money through the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The restoration project started about six years ago when the County Commission appointed Watson as the Curator. He said the first phase was the upgrading of the electrical system. It was followed by window restoration with grants from the Tennessee Historical Commission, aided by the Adopt a Window program.

“It’s really going to give us some leeway to do some things in the old courthouse toward turning it into the performing arts center and culture center for the county,” Watson said. “And keep it in use for another 150 years. Because this is actually the 150th birthday of when the courthouse.”

Watson said they have until the end of June 2025 to work through the grant. He said a majority of the $85,000 will go towards theatre lights for the upstairs stage.


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