Mineral County Courthouse to get new windows, doors
KEYSER - Visitors and employees at the Mineral County Courthouse will only be able to enter the building by the front door in the near future, as the county works to increase security at the historic building.
The Mineral County Commissioners gave their approval last week to solicit bids to replace the side windows in the courthouse with tempered glass and to replace the outside doors with steel doors.
County Coordinator Luke McKenzie said he is seeking grant funding to have the front windows restored in order to maintain the historic character of the building.
Sheriff Forrest Ellifritz said the upgrade is a matter of safety. With employees currently using several doors in addition to the front door to enter and exit the building, it is difficult for security to keep tabs on who’s in the building.
Ellifritz said employees could exit using the other doors, but entry must be made by the front.
“You can go out any door you want to go out, but when you go in, you’ve got to come in and be checked,” he said, adding that all bags would be checked as people - both employees and the general public - enter the building.
Ellifritz expressed concern, however, about access through the other doors should an emergency arise.
“If we’ve got a hostage situation, for example, there’s got to be some way for my men to get in that door,” he said.
Ellifritz was assured, however, that the sheriff’s department would be provided with a way to enter the extra doors from outside.
Commissioner Jerry Whisner made the motion to seek bids for the installation of the windows and doors, and Roger Leatherman seconded. it.
Windows and doors won’t be the only makeover the courthouse is getting, however, as painting is currently underway on the interior of the building.
Liz Beavers is managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org