Gibson County Courthouse undergoes major renovation

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TRENTON, Tenn. — For more than a century, the Gibson County Courthouse has stood the test of time. But for the first time since its construction it’s undergoing a major renovation. It has survived a major fire, tornadoes and even a lighting strike to its clock tower, but it still stands strong. With the multi-million dollar renovation under way, officials say they hope it stays that way for years to come. “This is not a cosmetic project,” Gibson County Finance Director Greg Pillow said. “This is a keep-the-structure-sound project.” The $1.7 million project will take care of what county officials call the building’s biggest problem — leaks. “We can clean up the water. That’s not the problem,” Pillow said. “The problem is when that water is coming through it’s eroding the mortar in the foundation.” From the roof down to the foundation, county officials said they hope this rehab will make the courthouse more structurally sound from top to bottom. “Our goal is to waterproof the top and waterproof the bottom, because if we don’t it’s a possibility that we could have a lot of structural problems later on,” Pillow said. Built in 1899, the courthouse has become a staple across West Tennessee. “I remember coming by here as a kid in the car just being amazed at the building and how beautiful it was,” Pillow said. Although the courthouse’s looks won’t change much with the construction, as time passes by and the clock chimes once more, generations to come will be able to enjoy it. “I’m proud to say that I played a part in saving the courthouse and keeping it from falling at some point in time,” Pillow said. “Hopefully we can extend the life of it 50 to 100 more years.” County officials said they’ll be working in three phases to replace the roof, windows and waterproof the foundation. They hope to have the construction finished by August.

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