- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Hall County Board of Supervisors is being warned that the courthouse in Grand Island is quickly becoming too small to meet the county’s needs - especially its newly-renovated bathrooms.

Hall County Facilities Director Loren “Doone” Humphrey told the board last week that it will need to address the courthouse’s lack of space in the near future, the Grand Island Independent reported (https://bit.ly/25D7iy4 ).

His comments came amid frustration over a recent renovation of the 1906 courthouse that reduced the number of available toilets and urinals from 23 to 19. Humphrey said one urinal and three toilets were removed to comply with federal rules on accessibility for those with disabilities.

Some supervisors voiced their displeasure with the change.

“We have more courtrooms now, we have more judges now, and we have less receptacles for people to go,” Supervisor Gary Quandt 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 there are 37 employees in the building at any one time and a capacity for 300 people at one time. Building codes require one toilet or urinal for each gender per 125 to 150 people, Humphrey said. With 16 toilets and three urinals, the courthouse easily within the code’s requirements, he said.

The bigger problem, Humphrey said, is that the $3 million renovation that also updated the courthouse’s climate control system was only a temporary fix and that more space will be needed in the near future.


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

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