Plaque dedicated to court room

| June 26, 2015
The Coshocton County court room had a plaque unveiling ceremony on Thursday, June 25. Pictured l-r: Scott Lepi, owner of Lepi Enterprises, Commissioner Dane Shryock, Judge Joe Batchelor, Commissioner Gary Fischer, and Commissioner D. Curtis Lee.

The Coshocton County court room had a plaque unveiling ceremony on Thursday, June 25. Pictured l-r: Scott Lepi, owner of Lepi Enterprises, Commissioner Dane Shryock, Judge Bob Batchelor, Commissioner Gary Fischer, and Commissioner D. Curtis Lee.

COSHOCTON – Exclamations of “It’s beautiful” and “It’s very nice” could be heard during the court room plaque unveiling ceremony to rededicate the court room on Thursday, June 25 at the Coshocton County Courthouse. For some who attended, it was their first time seeing the court room since it had been remodeled to its former glory.

Work began on the Coshocton County court room on Dec. 3, 2014 by Lepi and Associates out of Zanesville and was completed on April 2, 2015.

“We want to thank Lepi and his excellent crew,” said Judge Bob Batchelor. “They kept everything clean and very professional. We also want to thank all the foundations who supported us and the commissioners and a number of other individuals for making this possible.”

The courtroom features the restored original jury chairs from 1875 and the public benches were from that time period as well and were most likely purchased for the court house. The council tables are also all original, and the former drop ceiling which was installed in the 1950s has been removed to make room for a beautifully-restored balcony featuring hardwood floors.

“Men would come here for entertainment and watch the court proceedings,” said Batchelor. “These were the days before radio, so men came here for their entertainment.”

Probably the most interesting piece of history revealed when the drop ceiling was taken out were three murals that were probably painted by sign painters in Coshocton. Artist Alan Cottrell came to the courthouse to study and make sketches of the murals, which have been repainted on the new drywall exactly as they once were.

“We’ve been very insistent in doing what we can with finances we have with maintaining the integrity of this courthouse,” said Commissioner Dane Shryock. “I want to thank the foundations and the SABA Family Trust. Without their help and without them looking at our vision, I don’t know if this would have happened.”

The plaque unveiled Thursday night will be hung in the balcony area and has the story of why and how the courtroom was renovated.

“The Coshocton County community and Judge Batchelor can’t be thanked enough,” said Irene Miller. “Without these people in place, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s been a passion of mine since I was clerk of court, and without these government officials working together, this wouldn’t have happened.”

The plaque commemorates the architect, Pat Kelly of Kelly Architectural Services, the general contractor, Lepi Enterprises, and the foundations that supported the renovations: SABA Family Trust, Montgomery Foundation, Schooler Family Foundation, and the Coshocton Foundation.

“The idea was to memorialize this event,” said Commissioner Gary Fischer. “We think we captured what took place here.”

Scott Lepi, the owner of Lepi and Associates, is happy to see the project completed.

“I’m glad to see it done,” he said. “It was a really great project to be involved in. Everyone at the court house was great. I’m glad everyone can see it now. This project was a challenge, but it went really smooth. We didn’t have any big challenges and I think everyone is happy with the way it turned out.”

In 2004, the Coshocton Foundation gave $20,000 for a feasibility study to see if the renovations could be completed. Eleven years later, the vision has become a reality.

“I’m just so excited it’s finished and being dedicated to the citizens,” Irene Miller said. “It’s fortunate that the right people were here at the right time to get it done. But it’s just one phase. We’ve got more phases to do. The love for the building has always been here. It’s just been rekindled.”

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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