Courthouse preservation grant used to make bathrooms accessible

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The bathrooms in the Independence County courthouse will soon be handicap accessible.

The county was recently granted a $54,600 grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program for courthouse rehabilitation.

County Judge Robert Griffin plans to use that money to continue his goal of making the courthouse more accessible for everyone.

He started that push by installing an elevator in the building about three years ago.

Now, crews will widen and make other improvements to the first-floor bathrooms to make them accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Right now, the only handicap access to bathrooms in the county buildings is across the street at the annex building.

"It's not only inconvenient but also the main courthouse should have the handicap access and not have to defer it to an adjacent building," Griffin said.

The judge said he is thankful that the county is able to continue making improvements to the historic building.

"Obviously a new building would cause you to maybe lose the use of that one but would also cause taxpayers to bear an expense that they don't need to so this is just a great thing to be able to do," Griffin said.

He expects the work on the bathrooms to begin very soon.

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