FALLS COUNTY, TX — Big changes will come to Falls County this summer, as people learn about a big project to renovate the country's old "Art Deco" courthouse.
The project will restore the building to near-original, 1939 condition.
In 2016, Falls County tried to get a grant from the Texas State Historical Commission for repairs and a cleanup
The county didn't get the award, but decided to try again.
"In 2018 we put in again and this time we got it. It's a $6.8 million project that they will pay $5.8 million on," said Falls County Judge Jay Elliott.
To pay it's part of the expenses, the county used a type of bond.
The top-to-bottom fix-up will correct problems that have lingered for years.
Judge Elliott said there are cracks and peeling plaster on the walls, an electrical system that still uses glass fuses and window unit air conditioners.
Now, here's where the project gets interesting.
In order to get the work done, every county worker will have to move out.
So, where will the Falls County employees relocate while the historic courthouse undergoes renovation?
It will move to an old sewing factory in the Marlin Industrial park just south of town.
During the move, county services will not stop.
"If you left people in here, its very difficult for people, especially construction on the third and fourth floor going in and out without trying to get in the way of people, using the elevator, using the stairs, without that kind of stuff," said Elliott
He says Falls County will spend about $2 million, and thanks to the grants, will save about $5.8 million.
”It will be back to 1939. Everything will be returned back to 1939,” said Elliott.
Even though the project is scheduled to take 18 months, Elliott says, realistically it could take two years.