Engineer Report Prompts Closing of Iowa Courtroom

September 14, 2012

A structural engineer’s report on the safety of an Iowa courthouse roof has prompted the closure of its second-floor courtroom.

Assistant Chief Judge James Drew tells the Mason City Globe Gazette that the report indicates “life safety issues related to the roof.”

Drew says the location of Mitchell County trials and proceedings will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The closure includes the chambers of District Judge DeDra Schroeder, whose office will be moved to the Floyd County Courthouse.

Concerns about the integrity of the ceiling trusses in the courthouse, built in 1858, had already prompted the transfer of one trial to another county.

Voters will decide in November whether to approve a $6.5 million bond issue for a new courthouse. Some want the existing courthouse restored.

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