By Craig Bennett
Iron County Today
PAROWAN–The open house for the newly remodeled Iron County Courthouse was held on February 12 in Parowan. Extensive mechanical upgrades, as well as to wifi and utilities, caused the closure of the courthouse for more than a year. The personnel have returned and it’s open for business.
The building was originally dedicated back in 1974 and had a very good super structure, but electrical, lighting, plumbing, insulation, HVAC and technology were all in need of upgrade. The new lighting is energy efficient LED throughout and insulation has been upgraded and added as needed to make the building more comfortable and increase the efficiency as well as bringing the building up to current code.
According to county officials, the electrical upgrade cost $218,000 and the asbestos abatement was another $200,000. Those costs were not something that they had planned for. Total cost of remodel was around $3 million.
Some other features of the remodeled building include new energy efficient windows that have also dressed up the exterior of the building. The exterior roofline has been upgraded to a two-tone stucco greatly enhancing the outside look of the building.
Iron County Commissioner Alma Adams said, “What a historic day for Parowan. In January 1851, the first settlers entered this valley and declared this their land and that was the beginning of Iron County. In November, Cedar City was founded and then in 1891 the first courthouse in Parowan was built. In 1970 the courthouse started on fire, flames were coming through the roof. We carried all of the records out into the street. There weren’t digitized records then. Luckily they got the fire out, but it was time to build a new courthouse. The bond passed and the new courthouse was built. This building was built for the people of Iron County.”
The improvements will extend the life of the building for at least 50 years. Most of the furnishings are new and the hallways will be adorned with artwork. The vestibules have comfortable furniture and decor that is inviting and comfortable for county residents. The project has come in at just over $3 million.
The Commissioners are very happy with the way the project has come together and that Iron County now has a building with state of the art mechanical, technology and lighting for a fraction of the cost of a new building.
Funding for the upgrade was from a $790,000 grant and $790,000 2.5 percent interest rate loan from the Community Impact Board (CIB). The remaining funds are coming from county coffers. The architect for the project was Mesa Consulting Group and the general contractor was Zwick Construction.