DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – It has been quite a year for the Darlington County Courthouse–a truck crashing into the building and a courtroom escape. Now several months later, county officials are pleased with the changes.
The truck that drove into the side of the courthouse in April caused major damage. The impact not only exposed underlying issues with the building like old and decaying ceiling tiles. It also had county officials concerned with security.
Darlington County Administrator Charles Stewart said work on the outside of the building–including the facade that was damaged and the exposed ceiling tiles–has all been completed.
The county also installed a new security camera system to keep an eye on things both inside the building as well as on the streets outside.
Sherrif Wayne Byrd said his office has added an additional deputy in the lobby to enhance security.
The damage to the building this year also renewed questions about a planned new courthouse building.
Stewart said while there are plans for a new courthouse, the question is where to get the funding.
The county wanted to put a new penny sales tax on the November ballot, but the county schools beat them to the punch.
Darlington County Schools spokesperson Audrey Childers said the district plans to use the funds to build three new schools and renovate several others.
Stewart said the county does not plan to put any other tax referendums on the ballot this November.
“Until we see what the voters decide this November, the courthouse plan is kind of in a holding pattern,” Stewart said.