Pretty on the outside

Randall County’s Courthouse — which hasn’t functioned as one in decades — is getting a facelift.

Hooray! Except for this little complication: It’ll be on the outside. The inside will remain unusable.

Historic preservationists are giddy at the prospect of the courthouse, which was built in 1909, is going to look pretty. The county had obtained a $1.9 million grant from the state. Pro-courthouse forces then persuaded a majority of county voters — in the election this past November — to authorize spending local money to cover the rest of the estimated $3.2 million job with their tax dollars. What no one said out loud during that campaign, though, was that the money would cover only the cost of the outside of the building.

It still won’t function as a courthouse once its exterior is fixed up. So, the county eventually will have a gussied-up shell of a building. Then what? The county has moved most of its government offices off the square in Canyon.

County residents — and I’m one of them — would hate to see the courthouse knocked down. I’m having trouble understanding the county’s next step once the outside of the building is cleaned up and made presentable.