ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Construction and updates on the St. Landry Parish courthouse continue to be underway and are expected to be completed next June.
St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard tells KLFY News 10 that the courthouse, which was built in 1939, has seen some updates along the way but has never had any major or periodic work.
Now, he says it is past time for a new roof, windows, and a courtroom. Bellard also says that thanks to federal money, the completion of the courthouse project is only a year away.
“If we don’t do something, we will lose the courthouse,” Bellard said.
The much-needed updates on St. Landry Parish courthouse are coming together as Bellard says that money became available through federal ARA funding.
“If you don’t keep it up, you will have big cost and that is what we have,” he said.
The courthouse has over 250 windows that were installed in 1939, and almost $800,000 later, every window will be replaced.
Bellard notes, “It stops rain from entering the courthouse, which has become a big problem.”
As they are just starting the first phase of this project, Bellard tells News 10 it is not scheduled to be complete until next June. “Everything is on backorder. It is a long process,” he said.
Bellard also says that another big factor plaguing the updates is inflation as materials are 40% above the original bids.
“We put bids in to get the best bang for our buck,” Bellard explained.
The courthouse has three courtrooms, but the Parish has four judges. So, a fourth courtroom is under construction and is near completion. Bellard told News 10, “A courtroom for every judge. Forever, it has been four judges, three courtrooms.”
Despite all the work, Bellard says ongoing construction will not slow down courthouse operations.