The Thomas County Courthouse has been a topic of discussion throughout the years.Whether one is for, or against preserving historic landmarks, there is something to be said about having the second oldest courthouse in Georgia’s history.
There were two previous courthouses on the existing Thomas County Courthouse site, one of which was a two story log cabin built in 1827 that burned a couple years after it was built. Located on the smallest block in the township, 235ft by 260ft, construction on the final courthouse began in 1855 and was completed in 1858. The courthouse underwent a major remodeling in 1888, with subsequent renovations in 1909, 1918, 1922, and 1936.
The most recent renovation, beginning early 2010, proved to be a large undertaking according to Lyndall Knight –Project Manager and Director of Building Maintenance, he is responsible for looking after all building maintenance for and Thomas County. “This is the longest, most intense project I have been a part of and I’m excited about the final product,” said Knight.
Knight is part of a team made up of key individuals that dedicated over three years to the courthouse renovation. The team includes; Johnny Reichert, Building Planning and Zoning Director, Tom Gavin, Project Superintendent, and Phil Sanders, Engineering and Construction Administration.
“For years the courthouse has been overburdened with too many departments and overflowing with employees,” said Knight. “It was discouraging to employees who were sitting in hallways working. There was limited storage, break rooms and restrooms, so this renovation was overdue.”
Funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – SPLOST 2006, the Thomas County Courthouse in conjunction with the new Judicial Building, cost ten million dollars. SPLOST was voted on by the citizens of Thomasville and Thomas County and funded several other necessary projects in the area.
The limited space in the Thomas County Courthouse required county commissioners’ and other offices to move out of the building. Despite an increase in population and needs, no significant improvements had been made to the courthouse for 68 years.
“The county needs this building to serve the people, it is vital to maintaining our growing population,” said Gavin. With the courthouse renovation and the addition of the Judicial Building, the needs of Thomasville and Thomas County’s increasing populations can be met.