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Politics & Government
Wed July 24, 2013
Milwaukee County Courthouse Back in Business
The Milwaukee County Courthouse has fully reopened Wednesday, after being closed in whole or part since July 6, when an electrical fire occurred.
The fire destroyed the building's electrical infrastructure. During the first few days following, the county closed the building, halting business - including court cases. Some offices then set up shop at remote locations, with operations moving back into the courthouse, as soon as crews readied portions of the one million square foot building.
Even though the courthouse is again full reopened, more repair and restoration are needed. Workers must replace more carpeting and ceiling tiles and eventually replace the electrical system. Most of the work will happen during non-business hours.
County Executive Chris Abele praised the people who helped get the courthouse back in shape: "In the days after this fire, experts told us it could take months to open the Courthouse, but thanks to a lot of hard work and a bit of ingenuity we are back open today.”
A timeline of developments:
-- July 6 - Electrical fire discovered, massive clean up begins
-- July 10 - Safety Building reopens for criminal court hearings
-- July 15 - Courthouse opens for most court activities
-- July 17 - Services, such as marriage licenses and child support reopen in Courthouse (were provided off-site during the closure)
-- July 18 – Many depts. including Corporation Counsel and County Board move back into their offices
-- July 19-23 – Courthouse and Safety Building removed from generator power and hooked into WE Energies utility grid