1996 Greene County Courthouse


Daily Press photo by John Gore



The public will have an opportunity to inspect the new Greene County Courthouse at 2 p.m.
Sunday when ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremonies are planned. Another open house will be held at 4 p.m. Monday. The structure cost $4.1 million to build and furnish.

Planners Set Dedication Date

By Dick Clifford

The wraps will officially come off the new Greene County Courthouse at 2 p.m. Sunday when the structure, which cost $4.1 million to build and furnish, is dedicated. County officials and employees moved from the old courthouse, built in 1888, into the 39,000-square-foot building Monday and Tuesday. It opened for business at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Here is a tentative schedule of events, provided by county officials:

  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony will kick off the celebration at 2 p.m. at the main doors on the courthouse's north side. Thereafter, activities will move upstairs into the circuit courtroom with a public assembly starting at 2:10 p.m.

  • The dedication program will begin at 2:15 p.m. and will include a performance by a Greene County Tech musical group. A Tech Junior ROTC honor guard will post the colors.

  • At 2:30 p.m., County Judge David Lange will welcome the public to the event and will recognize Paragould attorney Bob Thompson for his role in making the courthouse a reality.

Lange will also introduce Jonesboro architects Jerry Brackett and George Krennerich, who designed the courthouse, as well as the Ramsons Construction Co. of Jonesboro, which erected it.

The Light, West and Howell estates, who contributed to construction of the building, will also be recognized. Another open house is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday. Ramsons' $3.148 million bid was the lowest in a field of six companies. The two-story, brick building, which took about 14 months to complete, houses all county offices. Circuit, chancery and municipal courtrooms are located upstairs.

In August 1994, county voters approved a l-cent, countywide sales tax to pay for the courthouse. The tax, which expired March 31, also generated $750,000 to pay for the renovation of the former City Light & Water building on West Court street into a new Paragould City Hall.

To make room for the courthouse, the 90-year-old Trice house at the corner of West Court and 3 1/2 streets was torn down in August 1995, as were two smaller houses on the farmer Miles property at the rear of the lot. The new courthouse will boast a link from the county's earliest days with the display of the fireproof safe that dates from the 1877 courthouse at Gainesville. The safe, which weighs between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds, is located to the right of the doors on the north side of the building.

[December 13, 1996 Paragould Daily Press]




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