- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - A discussion about bathrooms in the Hall County courthouse has prompted officials to say that the facility is becoming too small for the county’s needs.

The county’s facilities director, Loren Humphrey, told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the board will have to address the problem sometime in the near future, The Grand Island Independent (http://bit.ly/1PkqvNo ) reported.

“The courthouse … is gradually, probably at a faster rate, becoming too small for the needs of this county, this area, this district,” Humphrey said.

The courthouse’s restrooms were recently renovated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Supervisor Gary Quandt said the renovation decreased the number of available toilets and urinals from 23 to 19 as part of a $3 million project that renovated heating, air conditioning and the restrooms.

Quandt said having fewer restrooms is a concern because the courthouse is busier than it was when it was built in 1904.

“We have more courtrooms now, we have more judges now, and we have less receptacles for people to go,” he said. “Several times a year, there’s a possibility of having 200 potential jurors in the courthouse at once - plus the attorneys, the law enforcement and the witnesses.”

Humphrey said those 19 facilities are located in 14 restrooms, only four of which are available for public use. The other 10 are reserved for jurors, judges or judicial staff.

“It’s not a good situation, but I just don’t know how we can change it,” said Supervisor Doug Lanfear, chairman of the county’s facilities committee. “There isn’t a good use of space in these little rooms, but they were designed over 100 years ago with a different thinking in mind.”

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com

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