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The Van Wert County Commissioners and the Van Wert County Common Pleas Court extend to the citizens of Van Wert County an invitation to attend a Public Open House featuring the recently restored Van Wert County Common Pleas Courtroom. Residents are invited to view the courtroom on Sunday, December 9, at any time between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

There will be no program; however, the County Commissioners and the court staff will be on hand to answer questions you might have. The County Commissioners invite local residents to come see this historic, architectural and artistic treasure which has been hidden from view for nearly 60 years and has now been restored to its original 1876 condition.

The courtroom, ceiling and dome restoration was financed by the court's Special Projects Fund derived from a portion of court costs collected since 2001, and no taxpayer funds were used. The new heating and air conditioning system installed on the third floor of the courthouse to replace the original 1876 heating system was financed through Ohio Senate Bill 295.

The funds were also used to optimize energy savings at the County Annex Building, the correctional facility and the sheriff's office. Payback of the funds expended comes from savings in energy resulting from the project. An energy audit conducted as part of the project predicted an annual energy cost saving of nearly $43,000 per year.

Judge Steele wishes to thank Judge Kevin Taylor and his staff at the Van Wert County Juvenile/Probate Court and Judge Jill Leatherman and her staff at the Van Wert Municipal Court for their cooperation in allowing the Common Pleas Court to conduct hearings and trials in their courtrooms during the renovation period.

Judge Steele also wishes to express his appreciation to County Commissioners, Gary Adams, Clair Dudgeon and Thad Lichtensteiger for their assistance, advice and encouragement in the accomplishment of this project, and without whom the project would not have happened.