New muni courthouse in Kent opens April 7; move this week

by MIKE SEVER RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

Kent -- Portage County's new municipal courthouse is scheduled to open for business April 7, according to county officials.

Municipal Court Judge Barbara Oswick said the current courthouse on South Water Street will close at 10 a.m. April 3 after arraignment so the last court files can be moved to the new courthouse. Files stored in the basement of the courthouse have already been moved to the new courthouse, she said.

"We will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday in the new courthouse," Oswick said.

As for an official dedication and grand opening, "I'm sure there will be one," she said. Officials haven't discussed details of that yet.

Oswick gave a walk through of the new courthouse March 28 -- from its sunlit two-story lobby to the second floor courtrooms, where dark toned wood complements limestone-toned floors and gray walls.

The building is divided, with public spaces and the clerk of courts offices on the first floor for people coming in to pay fines, or meet with a probation officer.

The second floor has the judge's courtroom, magistrate's hearing room, chambers and support staff offices. Two elevators service the building-- one in front for the public and the second in back to move prisoners from a holding area to the courtroom.

On March 27, county commissioners discussed final arrangements for cleaning and for moving computer equipment into the new building at 303 E. Main St. Instead of hiring an outside company for janitorial services, commissioners agreed to assign a full-time county maintenance worker to the building.

Email: msever@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4154

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