Porter County Breaks Ground On Major Courthouse Renovation

Porter County Breaks Ground On Major Courthouse Renovation

Porter County officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the repairs and renovation of the over 180 year old Courthouse in downtown Valparaiso. Built in the 1830’s, the Courthouse stands on land that was first designated as a public square in the original land grant made by the State of Indiana to Porter County when the county was incorporated.

“Our Courthouse is the most iconic landmark in Porter County,” said Porter County Commissioner Jeff Good. “The work that we are doing now to restore, repair, renovate and preserve this historical treasure will assure that it will last for decades to come.”

Phase one of the project began earlier this summer which includes the replacement of all windows as well as the cleaning and repair of the exterior masonry and ornamentals. Phase two of the project will begin shortly and encompass the redesign of the Courthouse grounds, adding secured parking for Judges, and renovation of interior common spaces including the bathrooms. These renovations will also assure that building and courts are accessible to people with disabilities.

“The courthouse is an iconic symbol of government and public order. Many generations of Hoosiers and others, going back to the time of the civil war, have tread the grounds of our courthouse,” said the Honorable Mary Harper, Judge of the Superior Court. “It is a wonderful commitment by the Porter County Commissioners and our County Council, together with the citizens of our community, to maintain this symbol of justice.”

At the ceremony, Commissioner Good also announced that plans are being developed to move the Adult Probation and Prosecutor’s offices from the Courthouse to the 157 Franklin Street building the County acquired earlier this year.

“This structure was not built to accommodate so many offices and employees or the electrical needs of 21st century technology,” said Good.

After the Prosecutor and Adult Probation offices are relocated, a third phase of the project will be implemented to repair and renovate courtrooms, court offices and the County’s Clerks offices.

“The Courthouse and Courthouse square are the crown jewels of Porter County,” said Porter County Council member Karen Conover. “Through the leadership of the Commissioners and unanimous support from the County Council, these projects will make certain that the people’s courthouse on the people’s square will continue to stand for future generations.”

The Courthouse and 157 Franklin Street projects are included with the County’s $30 million Building For The Future Capital Upgrade Plan, The Plan also includes bridge repair/replacement projects, renovation of the Porter County Expo Center, redesign and safety improvements of the plaza at the County Administration Center, construction of a new office building in partnership with the Portage Township Trustee and Portage Food Pantry as well as expansion and repairs of the Courts building in the North County Annex on Willowcreek Road in Portage.



Photo credit: Albert Photographic Services.

Photo Caption L-R: Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer, Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, Council members Mike Jessen and Jeff Larson, Commissioner Jim Biggs, Council members Sylvia Graham, Jeremy Rivas and Karen Conover, Prosecutor Brian Gensel, Commissioner Jeff Good.

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