SHAWNEETOWN, IL– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the release of state funds to assist in renovating the Gallatin County Courthouse in Shawneetown. The project will repair and help preserve the historic courthouse while improving its energy efficiency.
“The courthouse in Shawneetown is a center of activity for the nearly 6,500 residents of this county,” Governor Blagojevich said. “In order for this courthouse to continue serving the people of Gallatin County, we need to help ensure that the county workers and those conducting business here can do so in a safe and healthy environment.”
Renovations will include exterior tuck pointing where stucco is crumbling and starting to affect the structural integrity of the building, along with endangering passersby. Additional renovations include the replacement of the building’s original windows with energy efficient windows. Many of the courthouse windowpanes are cracked and the window frames are pulling away from the structure of the building exposing both county employees and the public to the elements in both winter and summer.
The governor announced that he is releasing a $50,000 grant for the project. Former state senator Larry Woolard worked to secure the funding.
“The people of Gallatin County have much to be proud of,” said Woolard. “The courthouse is a focal point of the community and the center attraction for many local events. The safety, comfort and well-being of courthouse employees and visitors will be greatly enhanced as a result of the funding to improve this facility.”
“We continue to analyze the hundreds of special project grants that my administration froze during my first weeks in office focusing on ones that promote education, health care, public safety and economic development,” the Governor added.
The Gallatin County Courthouse was built in 1938 after the flood of 1937 caused Shawneetown to be moved from its original location. The courtroom also contains a large and artistically significant Works Progress Administration (WPA) mural.