Lamar County Courthouse Restored - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Lamar County Courthouse Restored

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - It's been the crime scene of a murder, a morgue, burned and twisted by a tornado, but now the Lamar County Courthouse is fully restored and will soon open as a full working courthouse.

Since 1905 the courthouse has been the center Lamar County.

It survived the 1908 tornado and the fire of 1932.

After years of planning and preparation, Lamar County officials will have a grand opening for the public to see the improvements.

The renovations started in January of 2012 and workers are putting the finishing touches to it Friday.

"I's the only remaining historical structure that the county owns," said County Administrator Chuck Bennett.

He said the county will unveil the renewed courthouse on April 4.

"The reason its' going to be that day is on April 4, 1904, 109 years ago was when the governor, Gov. James Vardaman swore in the first ever elected officials of Lamar County," he said.

Contractors worked hard to preserve as much of the building as they could, and recreated a piece of history.

"If you point out anything it's got to be that we put a very close resemblance of the original clock tower that was removed after the fire in the thirties," Bennett said.

Another enhancement to the building, new technology that will be used inside the courtroom. The total project cost about $4.5 million.

"We've got some little things here and there to kind of wrap but we're excited about the way it's turned out," he said.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening on April 4 at 10 a.m.

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