PARSONS - Hundreds of dignitaries and elected officials joined with Tucker County residents Thursday to celebrate the open house of the newly completed Tucker County Courthouse Annex.
The groundbreaking for the new annex was in September 2011. Fast forward to today, and the new four-story structure provides secure parking and houses offices for the prosecuting attorney, county clerk, probation officers, community corrections, Tucker County Commission, family court judge and the magistrate court judge.
There is space dedicated for a courtroom, meeting and holding rooms, judge's chamber, a jury room, and circuit clerk area and vault. An elevator is being constructed at the back of the existing courthouse to help assure the facility is fully accessible.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons welcomes Tucker County resident Gary Lipscomb to the open-house celebration Thursday at the Tucker County Courthouse Annex.
Tucker County Commission President Mike Rosenau spoke during the ceremony.
"We, the Tucker County Commission, would like to take this opportunity to welcome you officially to the opening of your Tucker County Courthouse Annex," Rosenau said. "There have been several sleepless nights and a lot of hard work in making this a reality. So, the people of Tucker County, we present to you, a courthouse that is now accessible to all, and a courthouse annex."
Commissioner Lowell Moore thanked those in attendance.
"We live in one of the best areas: Tucker County," Moore said. "In Tucker County, today is a new beginning for us Our courthouse is 115 years old, and when it came time to expand, it has been accomplished by local residents and those throughout the state. I want to say thank you to everyone who made this happen."
Moore said the annex is one of the newest in West Virginia and features state-of-the-art equipment.
"The heating and cooling system, lighting, cameras, audio and video system are all new," Moore said. "We have family court, magistrate court and circuit court. Our judges' benches are a showpiece."
Moore said the courthouse and annex are now ADA accessible, and the exterior of the annex was designed, not to take away, but add to the historical value of the existing courthouse.
Commissioner Diane Hinkle thanked and recognized those responsible for designing and building the annex.
"I am humbled by the history contained within these walls," Hinkle said. "It is only fitting to recognize those who held an integral part in the annex project, which as of today becomes another part of Tucker County history."
Comments and congratulations also were extended from state Sen. David Sypolt, R-Preston; state Sen. Bob Williams, D-Taylor; Chief Circuit Judge Philip Jordan; Richie Parsons, representative for U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.; Peggy Hawse, representative for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin; and Lynn Phillips, representative for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons shared a poem she wrote about the Tucker County Courthouse and its new annex.
"A grand lady stands in our county; living through good times and bad; as our young men were ushered off to war, I watched in the background," Simmons said. "Moonshiners and bootleggers paid fines so a beautiful clock can adorn my tower. Eleanor Roosevelt stood on my steps. And with historical integrity after 111 years, she gives birth to a beautiful daughter.
"She's built with your talents and treasures. ... She's built because (of) when you dared to dream of this glorious day for future generations. She's built with love, heart and soul. She is a building that causes the spirit to soar; a building that all who enter shall never forget the past, but welcome the future."
During the open house celebration, Tucker County High School student Savannah Ambrose sang the national anthem, and students from the Kenneth "Honey" Rubenstein Center led the flag ceremony. After the ceremony, residents were invited to tour the new annex facilities.
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at ITM-Broschart.