Administration Building and Sumter County Courthouse
A thorough renovation of the Sumter County Administration building has been completed and the building is once again open to the public. This was a $2.8 million project.
The project got the final go-ahead in March 2018 after the Historic Preservation Design Review Committee approved plans to tear down an adjacent office and expand the County’s East Canal Street footprint.
Housed within the three-story building are the offices of Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer on the first floor with the Finance and Purchasing departments on the second floor. The third floor is the office of Administration, County Council Chambers, Clerk to Council, Human Resources and the County Attorney.
“This was a long-awaited and much needed renovation that employs new security measures, a new elevator and entranceway, a reconfigured and updated Council Chambers,” said Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon. “We also wanted to take architectural and aesthetic cues from the Judicial Center across the street as the city and county work together to revitalize downtown Sumter.”
Mixon said the redesigns to the first-floor offices were done to make customer service functions easier and safer.
“We are here to serve the citizens of Sumter County and our first-floor offices are very busy,” he said. “We hope foot traffic will flow better with these improvements.”
Prior to the makeover, the first-floor offices relocated to Magnolia Place while the second and third floors took up office space at the Sumter County Courthouse. Then in March, all offices of Sumter County Government closed to the public to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Our employees have shown resilience through relocation and shutdown and we’re proud of them, because this hasn’t been easy,” Mixon said. “We’ve stayed plenty busy and have had to figure out how to safely interact with the general public.”
Built in the 1970s, the Administration building was originally a bank until Sumter County Government acquired it in the 1980s.
SUMTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
An icon of Sumter County got an extensive makeover, and most of the work is done.
Renovations for the Sumter County Courthouse as part of the ‘Penny for Progress’ received approval in March 2018 from the Historic Preservation Design Review Committee, as the 113-year-old structure continues to serve citizens in several ways.
Situated at 141 North Main Street, the Courthouse was built in 1907 by architects William Augustus Edwards and Frank C. Walter in the Beaux Arts style, according to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. A two-year restoration, alteration and addition was completed in 1965 by the architecture firm James and Durant, A.I.A & Associates. The contractor was C.B. Askins & Company of Lake City. Mary W. Edwards nominated the Courthouse to be added to the National Register on April 27, 2004, and on June 16, 2004, it was approved.
The Courthouse houses Voter Registration and Elections, Emergency Management, some functions of the Solicitor's Office and the Register of Deeds.
To refurbish the Courthouse, $3 million was allocated to this project, and the only remaining work is to renovate the main Courtroom.
A new elevator and restrooms that are handicap-accessible were added, along with new windows and exterior façade improvements.
The back of the building that faces North Harvin Street saw the addition of a column structure to accommodate new restrooms and the elevator, which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Colors were updated and exterior damage was repaired.
Custom designed and double-paned Pella windows that are energy efficient were installed, replacing the single pane windows.
Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said he’s pleased with the renovation.
“Our Courthouse has long been a recognizable landmark of Sumter County and many people associate it with our history, along with the statue of General Thomas Sumter on the front lawn,” he said. “This is really an investment in keeping our history alive and we’re excited to add our part to the revitalization of downtown with a new look Administration building and renovated Courthouse.”