The Bryan County Court Clerk’s office is asking county citizens to join them in signing a petition to take down a wall that is now being constructed in the Bryan County Courthouse.
The wall was approved by the County Commissioners and sections off the south wing of the first floor for sole use by the election board.
Commissioners said this is for security reasons, but the clerk’s office questioned how much security this would provide.
Court Clerk Sandy Stroud said that the door on the east wing is still open to the public so anyone wanting to do harm can still get in while closing the south wing makes it harder for people inside to get out during an emergency.
She also said this is an inconvenience to their customers who may have disabilities and will now have to walk a further distance to the east wing door to get in the building.
On top of her safety and convenience concerns, Stroud said that the building is a registered historical building and constructing this wall will interfere with its historical construction.
“As soon as we saw the wall going up we voiced our objections,” said Stroud. She said this is out of character for her.
She said she doesn’t like to cause a scene most of the time, but felt something had to be done. Stroud has been reaching out to members of the community to sign the petition.
She has presented her concerns in meetings with other entities such as the Three Valley Museum and others who may want to preserve the historic value of the building.
“The whole third floor feels the same way,” said Stroud.
She said that she believes Judge Mark Campbell has even spoke with commissioners Monty Montgomery about the issue.
Stroud has been asked to be put on the agenda for the county commissioners meeting that is to be held Monday May 6 at 9 a.m. at the county courthouse annex.
She said she will present her concerns along with the signed petition to show the commissioners how many citizens feel that the wall should come down.
Stroud said the office has had “nothing but complaints” about the wall. She said that if the commissioners allow the wall to be taken down, she could have it taken down at no cost to the county. She said she has already had people offer services and money to take the wall down.
Stroud said she feels the first floor lobby belongs to everybody and that the public should have been notified, a committee formed and studies done before a decision like this was made.
According to Stroud, her office was not consulted or told about the project until it was underway.
“I’ve been here 31 years,” said Stroud.
She said the courthouse is like a second home to her and it breaks her heart when she sees the wall. Construction on the wall has been placed on hold until the issue is resolved.