Panhandle's Renovated Courthouses

Jack Hall, Donley County Judge
Jack Hall, Donley County Judge
Rhonda Aveni, Donley County Resident
Rhonda Aveni, Donley County Resident

From the oldest courthouse in the area to the most recently renovated, some area counties are improving the look of their courthouses.

In the late 90s, the Donley County courthouse urgently needed repairs. Restoring the building, however, would take 2.5 years and 4.2 million dollars.

To off set the cost, the county received nearly 3 million dollars from the Texas Historical Commission for courthouse restoration. Donley County was one of the first counties in the state to receive a grant from the Texas Historical Commission.

But taxpayers picked up the rest of the tab.

"Certainly the finances are always a concern," Donley County Judge Jack Hall said. "But I think people realized that this building had the potential of restoring our history."

'We don't need to forget our history,"said Rhonda Aveni, Donley County resident. "I think the Randall County Courthouse would look beautiful if it was redone."

In Randall County, people will decide the future of their courthouse in this November's election. Residents in Donley County didn't have a vote; instead they voiced their concerns at several public hearings.

"Cause the building was in such bad shape, they couldn't see putting a lot of money into it," Aveni said. "But since then, those same people have come up to me to tell me that it was well worth it."

Since the courthouse reopened in 2003, Donley County officials say the area has seen more tourists than ever before. The building's unique architecture and original woodwork attract people from all over the world.