Renovation plan goes to second phase for courthouse

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - An $81,000 grant will help Jackson County residents to be able to keep one of its landmarks for the future.

The grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage will allow Jackson County to enter into the second phase of a project to renovate the county's nearly 120-year-old courthouse.

County Judge Jeff Phillips said the project has provided a lot of inspiration for residents in the county.

"We're really excited to be able to get this part done," Phillips said. "And it is all about saving our courthouse and preserving it because it is one of a kind and you can't replace it."

Phillips said the county is partnering with Miller-Newell in Newport to help fill in the old mortar between the bricks, which has caused water damage in the past.

Earlier this year, Phillips said it will take about three years to finish the restoration project at the courthouse.

The main problem has been an older irrigation system, Phillips said at the time.

"This building has went through some floods before Newport had a levy system," Phillips said. "You could see flood waters up to, past that rock and up so the building would flood. The lower level would flood. So it's went through that, it's went through tornadoes, and just age itself."

Phillips says the goal is to complete the courthouse in three phases.

The second phase of the project is set to be completed by March 2018.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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