BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Demolition has begun on the expansion of the Benton County Courthouse.
You can expect some noise over the next few weeks, but it shouldn’t interfere with business at the courthouse.
The first stage of construction for the future home of the new division seven court facility has started.
“This has been a long time coming since we’ve been able to expand our court facilities in downtown Bentonville. I’m glad we’re able to do this, we’re able to do it without raising taxes and with a very modest amount of borrowing," Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said.
About 5,000 square feet of unused space, built back in the late 70s and early 80s, that use to house the old coroner’s office and juvenile justice facility are being torn down.
Moehring says the court will go on as normal.
“Central Avenue will still be open; Second Avenue will still be open, and there should be nothing that infringes on the events of downtown Bentonville over the holidays," Moehring said.
Moehring calls this a modest expansion, costing a little more than $3 million, that will meet the court needs for the next five to ten years.
In about a year, there will be a new courtroom, chambers for the new judge, more space for attorneys and the public, and a parking lot with more than 72 parking spaces.
“It’ll be open to the public during the week, weekends, evenings, holidays. Otherwise, it’ll be used for people doing business for the county and also for county staff vehicles," Bryan Beeson, Benton County Facilities Administrator, said.
Demolition is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and then construction on the new facility begins in 2021.
A sign of growth and progress for Benton County.
The new circuit court judge Christine Howard will be sworn-in, in January.
She should be working in her new courtroom by December of 2021.