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Q: What is the status of architectural plans for the new courthouse?
A: The architect, Stevens and Wilkinson, has drawn up a preliminary plan that includes a rough floor plan and a sketch of what the facade could look like.
"It's not blueprints or anything like that," Willis said.
County Council will view the plans this week, and if approved, they will be made public.
"There's no sense in making the plans public and then council says, 'No way,'" Willis said.
Q: Where will the new courthouse be built?
A: The architect's plan shows it being built next to the old courthouse on North Main Street.
Q: Where would people park for the new courthouse?
A: The architect's preliminary plans show a parking deck across the street in the parking lot at the County Administration Building.
Q: When could construction start on the new courthouse?
A: Willis said he forsees construction starting by summer 2009.
Q: How long would construction take?
A: Two years, according to the architect, Willis said.
Q: Where will court be held until a new courthouse is built?
"That's the one we're still working on," Willis said.
The county is in negotiations to use a building, but Willis would not say where yet. Court will be held at the Municipal Justice Center through December.
"We certainly can't thank the city enough" for the use of the MJC, Willis said. "They've been extremely gracious."
Q: When will the sheriff's office hire the new deputies to provide court security?
A: Applications are being taken now, and interviews are being conducted.
Q: What is the status of the restoration efforts for the old courthouse?
A: Willis said asbestos removal and cleanup are complete at the historic courthouse, which burned on Aug. 4. Large, wooden beams have been ordered for the roof, as has the slate selected for the roof covering.
"Once the roof is back on, the emergency repairs are done," Willis said.
Restoration will be a coordinated effort between the insurance company, architect Jody Munnerlyn, who specializes in restoring historic buildings, and the S.C. Department of Archives and History.
Q: Was the old courthouse fully insured?
A: The courthouse is insured for replacement cost, and restoration work will come from insurance funds, Willis said.
Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 283-1151