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Area residents are in for a treat. In between Father’s Day and the annual weekend of July Fourth celebrations is a significant date in Lancaster County.
The grand opening for the new Lancaster County Courthouse is 2 to 5 p.m Sunday.
The event is open to the public and area residents are encouraged to attend the grand opening.
The new building on the north side of town, is a credit to county citizens through the penny local option sales tax approved in a 2008 general election and their vision for a modern facility to serve the county’s legal needs for decades to come.
The facility stands tall in the city and serves as a major source of pride.
Those facts weren’t lost on S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, who attended the building’s unofficial grand opening last month.
“It shows you the tough fighting spirit Lancaster County has,” Toal said. “They weren’t going to be defined by the tragedy of the Lancaster County Courthouse fire.”
Toal hailed the building “a real triumph.”
“It’s a beautiful building they’ve created here. This was something they built that was not over the top,” she said. “This is the most modern and most well-thought-out courthouse in the whole state.”
Don’t just take Toal’s words. Make it a point to be a part of the special day, which will include a special opening ceremony featuring comments from Lancaster County Council members and Clerk of Court Jeff Hammond.
Following the opening remarks, there will be a special time capsule dedication beneath the building’s main stairwell.
That will be a historic event, and event attedees can also experience a new-look in county history as the old courthouse, a survivor with its own history, will be open to public tours.
Three years ago, an arsonist did heavy damage to the 183-year-old building, but it, again at the local citizens’ urging, survived to take on a new look with a complete restoration project.
Union troops sought to burn the old courthouse during the Civil War as did an arsonist several years back.
The old courthouse survived and now features a glorious look with a few modern touches.
The old courthouse, designed by the famed Robert Mills, who designed the Washington Monument and some 18 S.C. courthouses, will be the home of the Lancaster County welcome center and feature county artifacts and documents.
Attendees need to know that security measures, similar to those for upcoming sessions of court, will be in place.
All visitors will pass through metal detectors and bags will be X-rayed. Cell phones and items, like pocketknives, will be prohibited.
Parking will be available in the public lots adjacent to the historic grounds. Refreshments will also be available.
It should be a special day, one long-anticipated, but worth the wait.
Make plans for a super Sunday, this one in the courts. We hope to see you there.