One high-profile downtown Cedar Rapids building is finally back after the June flooding. The Linn County Courthouse opened Monday for public business for the first time since the Cedar River rose out of its banks.
Judges, courthouse workers and others began the moving back process last week. Only about 80% of the courthouse reopened for business. Many court facilities set up shop at a building at Kirkwood Community College for most of the summer. Workers say they appreciated the offer of temporary space, but they missed their own offices and had to make do in cramped quarters.
District Judge Jane Spande said "I think everyone’s happy to be back–I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t the consensus." County Attorney Harold Denton agrees. Denton says it is good to be back and to be able to go into your office to prepare trial information of do dictation.
Courthouse officials and workers will have to put up with some temporary limitations for now. The building’s elevators won’t go back in service for about a week and access for the disabled is now provided by a temporary lift outside. Half the driveway around the courthouse caved in from the flood water. The biggest question remaining, though, is what to do about the first floor which did go underwater and the courthouse facilities manager says they’re looking at whether it should be courtrooms, or more office space.