Courthouse rededication, open house planned

The Auglaize County commissioners are inviting the public to a rededication ceremony and open house for the newly renovated Auglaize County Courthouse on Sunday.

The rededication ceremony is scheduled from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. with the open house scheduled to follow from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Auglaize County Courthouse, located at 201 Willipie St. The ceremony is to be held on the east side of the courthouse. Limited seating is available for the rededication, but residents may bring their own lawn chairs.

A rain date of Sunday, Sept. 23, with all the same times applying, also has been set.

Parking is limited at the courthouse, Auglaize County Administration Building and in downtown Wapakoneta.

A shuttle bus service beginning at the Auglaize County Educational Service Center (ESC), 1045 Dearbaugh Avenue, is to be offered and includes service for the disabled. Buses are to operate from 1 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.

Those wishing to attend the ceremony must be at the pick-up point at the ESC no later than 2:15 p.m.

Tours are to be offered during the open house with representatives from the Auglaize County Historical Society available to help guide and offer explanations throughout the building. Elected officials are to be in their offices and also offering explanations of the changes and the impact they have on the jobs they do.

“We want taxpayers to see how their money was used toward this project,” Commissioner Doug Spencer said. “We encourage as many residents as possible to come see the changes that have been made. They can come for the ceremony or stop in later for the open house.”

The rededication ceremony is to be emceed by attorney John F. Kuffner includes representation from throughout the county, including a color guard, entertainment and speakers. Ministers, former county officials and leaders of cites and communities in the county are included.

“It’s the people’s courthouse,” Spencer said. “We think people need to see the decisions we made to bring a 19th Century building into 21st Century justice. We want them to see it and the changes made.”

The commissioner said there seems to be a lot of eagerness from county residents to take a look inside the 118-year-old building. Spencer said the project was a decade in the making and thanks to the vision of county commissioners and elected officials that came before him.

“This is something that happens once in a lifetime,” Spencer said. “I imagine when the courthouse opened in 1894, it was a very exciting day.

“It’s very exciting for us to be reopening after being closed for nearly two years with all these renovations,” he said. “It is a monumental project. I don’t know that many Ohio courthouses have undergone renovations to this extent.”