Angelina County commissioners agree to courthouse improvements
ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - The Angelina County Courthouse will undergo renovations to accommodate a new jury room. The plans involve remodeling the law library to fit the new space. Angelina County Judge Keith Wright said this has been a longstanding desire of the county, ever since the original jury space became occupied.
“It’s actually been months in the making; it was before my time as judge,” said Wright. “It’s when the new DA came into office and they needed some additional office space. The county court of law jury room was taken up by additional office space.”
The new room will be across the hallway from the current space. It is expected to be ready for use relatively soon, even though there is a list of renovations needed before it is operational. Wright says the renovations can be mostly completed under the building maintenance department. Outstanding areas of concern are having computer access and identifying shelves with relevant volumes they would like to keep handy.
“We are modifying that to create a new jury room for county court of law two, and adding a couple small conference rooms in the space as well,” said Wright. “Redoing the ceiling, redoing the doors, modifying the HVAC, putting in LED lighting, just bringing it up to typical standards.”
The new jury room can be seen as part of a larger scale transition in law as a whole, where text is being converted to a digital format. The library space with shelves of books and references are no longer as necessary when digitized, and many of the books are out of date. The shelves of law books stand mostly just for aesthetic purposes now. Wright says the space is best served for other uses.
“The need basically for the law libraries in the way they exist today is not there,” said Wright. “Most of our references are online, so we didn’t need to utilize that amount of space, so we are looking at downsizing that and taking advantage of that space with a new jury room.”
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