LoginCreate an account

Home News-Telegram News County receives $2,500 for courthouse stewardship; judge says it’s one of only two awards given by association

County receives $2,500 for courthouse stewardship; judge says it’s one of only two awards given by association

E-mail Print PDF
Hopkins County officials received a $2,500 gift today, a reward for their efforts toward the continued preservation of the county courthouse.

Leslie Midgley, executive vice president of the Texas Land Title Association, presented the check to Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap and other elected officials in a ceremony this morning at the ccourthouse.

The gift was funded by the Texas Historical Commission, which partners with the land and title association each year to provide training that ensures the preservation of the state’s historic courthouses.

The Hopkins County Courthouse, originally constructed in 1894, was rededicated in December of 2002 after a massive restoration project. The refurbishing project was launched in 2000 after Hopkins County was awarded a $3.7 million grant through the Texas Historical Commission’s Courthouse Preservation Program to bring the courthouse back to its original condition. It was the second-largest amount given in the first year of the program.

To date, 40 courthouses have been renovated under the program. The Rains County courthouse, another grant recpient, is expected to complete its restoration this year.

In recent years, however, historical commission architects realized an ongoing program was needed to support continued maintenance of the restored buildings. In 2006, Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Land Title Association partnered to create the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Initiative, a training and technical assistance program to promote ongoing and regular maintenance of the historic buildings that have been restored. The program consists of site visits by THC architects and annual training workshops for judges, county clerks and maintenance workers to address issues like inspecting the exterior, indentifying mechanical malfunctions and budgeting for maintenance.

Awards for stewarship excellence, such as the $2,500 gift received by Hopkins County elected officials today, are also given by the land and title assocation, made up of more than 2,000 title insurance agents and underwriting companies. Millsap said Hopkins County was one of only two counties selected to receive the awards.

“This is an ongoing program since the 2001 restoration,” the judge said. “Hopkins County was one of the first in Texas to be presented grant funding to restore its courthouse under the program, an we’ve continued to keep the courthouse maintenance up to date.”

Only one aspect of returning the courthouse to its original luster remains, Millsap said: Restoring a pair of vault doors.

The original vault, located on the main floor, is still sorely in need of restoration to prevent future deterioration, as is the one located on the second floor.

Members of the Adult Leadership Sulphur Springs Class of 2008-2009 have made the restoration of two vault doors their class project and have held various fundraisers to fund the project, which will cost between $14,000 and $20,000, according to Michael van Enter, who will be leading the restoration project. Van Enter and his team have worked in preserving more than 13 courthouses through the historical commission’s courthouse restoration program

The vault doors originally were adorned with murals of gold leaf and other materials that have since deteriorated significantly. Millsap said some of the money the county is receiving today may go toward that effort.

“That’s the only thing we really haven’t done as far as restoring the courthouse,” said Millsap. “But they’ve raised a substantial amount of money toward that.

Also joining Millsap and Midgeley at today’s presentation were county commissioners Beth Wisenbaker, Don Patterson, and Danny Evans; Aaron Day, director of government affairs for Texas Land Title Association; Nancy Brannon, chief of staff for State Rep. Mark Homer; Robert VanWinkle, president of Hopkins County Abstract Company, and his wife, Joyce; and Markeda Orwosky and Kayla Price, co-owners and co-managers of Professional Land Title Company and members of the adult leadership class.





mySSnews Login

User Menu