Updates to the Greene County Courthouse are coming. Circuit Clerk Shirley Thornton notified the Greene County Board that the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts would be conducting audits of the courthouse at some point this summer to ensure compliance with the the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen, who is in charge of the facilities at the courthouse, says a number of updates need to be completed soon. McMillen says that one of the changes that will be have to be made is to the location of the Lactation Room: “We did have a room that was used for that, but the requirement for that room now, the current room will not work. It cannot be in a restroom. It wasn’t in a restroom in the beginning. It has to have a sink facility in that room, a table, a chair, and of course be accessible to a handicapped person, and have an electrical outlet. We have a room that we have been using that met all those requirements, but it doesn’t have a sink in it so now we have to either move the room or install plumbing. I think we are going to have to make a new room for that.”
McMillen says the plumbing and widening of a doorway to the room that is in the upstairs of the courthouse will make it an easy move.
The other item that McMillen says will need to be changed is that both single occupancy restrooms will have to be changed to gender neutral and have diaper changing stations installed in both. He says the changing of signs and installing the changing stations should occur within the next few weeks.
McMillen believes his office’s budget will be able to absorb the extra costs for the updates: “These things were not budgeted for this year, but the cost is very minimal. The most expensive cost is revamping a room and making it the Lactating Room because it doesn’t currently have any plumbing. We are probably talking about $2,500 or so to get that room put together. We may be able to absorb the costs of getting the courthouse into compliance all of those laws within our budget this year. I just didn’t have those things planned on for spending it this year. If I had known it was coming up, I would have probably thrown some extra money in the budget to cover the costs. I think we can probably cover those and get the updates done.”
McMillen says he is also on a search for a personnel member in the courthouse to become the courthouse’s Disability Coordinator. He says he would prefer it would be someone inside the courthouse that could be the point person for any needs the comes up for disabled community members. He says that the position shouldn’t take up too much time and that the person should be available during the courthouse’s business hours.
The Richardsonian Romanesque Revival-style building was built in 1891-1892. The architect of the building, Henry Elliott of Chicago, also designed the courthouses in Edgar, Pike, and Jersey Counties which were all built around the same time. The cost of building the courthouse, the third in the county’s history, was built by contractor Frederick W. Menke of Quincy for a cost of $40,321.