CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Today marks the end of construction at the Linn County Courthouse.
After sustaining heavy damage in the flood of 2008, it’s taken six years and $7 million to bring the building back to life.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house is being held Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the remodel.
A number of changes have been made to the courthouse to better serve the public, improve safety, and protect against future flooding.
For example, the clerk’s offices that were once on the first floor were moved to the second floor, and now only courtrooms are on the first floor.
This helps in two ways. First, it puts the majority of offices the public needs at the main entrance. Second, if the building floods again, county officials are less likely to lose precious documents related to cases.
Other changes have been made to minimize damage in case of future flooding.
”We moved all the electrical and mechanicals out of the first level,” said Garth Fagerbakke, Linn County facilities director. “Our electrical service is up on third floor now and along with a lot of the mechanicals were moved out of that first level so they do not get damaged by future flooding,”
The building is also better protected from fire, with the installation of a sprinkler system.
A tunnel that once linked the courthouse to the jail has been filled in.
And there are separate entrances for inmates into the courtrooms on the upper level so inmates don’t have to walk through public areas.
Those are only some of the changes that have been made to the courthouse since the flood.
If you’d like to see it for yourself, the ribbon cutting and open house is from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.