Warren County’s long-awaited exterior renovations to the Courthouse in Belvidere are underway, with the historic structure draped in plastic as old paint is removed and new coats applied.
“This is a project that has been a long time coming. We’re very excited to be getting this completed this year,” said Freeholder Director Jason J. Sarnoski, adding, “It’s going better than we had hoped.”
The current work, for lead paint stabilization and repainting, is being performed through a $344,000 contract with Jupiter Environmental Services, Inc., of Pine Brook, NJ.
Warren County Public Works Director Alex Lazorisak said the work is slated to continue in November but is ahead of schedule and will wrap up sooner than anticipated if the weather continues to cooperate.
Sarnoski noted the Courthouse exterior is “really starting to look good” as new white paint is applied to the trim. “It’s bringing the aesthetic beauty back to the Courthouse Square,” he remarked.
The original section of the Courthouse was Warren County’s first construction project after separating from Sussex County in 1825. It has been renovated several times over the past 190 years, with a major expansion including a two-story addition dedicated in October 1961.
More recently, the freeholder board renovated the former jail and Warden’s House at the rear of the Courthouse, putting heating and cooling systems as well as a maintenance shop into the space where inmates once lived, and offices into what was home to the jail warden and his family. That was followed by extensive renovations to the west wing of the Courthouse to create two new courtrooms and convert one courtroom into the Jury Assembly Room and offices.
After exterior work, more interior renovations will be undertaken to continue upgrading the building that houses both the Superior Court of New Jersey and some County offices, including the Clerk and Sheriff. The Surrogate’s Office is moving from the Courthouse to a county-owned building on Front Street in Belvidere.
More photos of the work can be found on the Warren County official website at www.co.warren.nj.us.