BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - The Walton Family Foundation gave a multi-million dollar grant to the Benton County Courthouse so that the interior and exterior can be renovated, according to Benton County Judge Bob Clinard.
Clinard said $2 million of the nearly $3 million grant would cover the renovation on the first floor of the courthouse, including remodeling the prosecuting attorney's office.
He said the remaining money will go towards waterproofing the exterior of the building, as well as purchasing new insulated windows, which will look like replicas of the original windows.
Lowell resident Robby Bellot said he is glad the courthouse is getting repaired.
"It's like the cornerstone of downtown Bentonville, especially with the new projects going on over here, and the recent revitalization of the downtown area," Bellot said. "I think it's important that we keep it updated and keep it in times with rest of the surroundings."
The courthouse was built in 1928, and has remained a focal point of the Bentonville square since that time, according to resident Bob Jennings. Jennings said he supports restoring the old building.
"You can walk around the square, you get a nice vibe off the square," Jennings said. "It's not a typical modern day mall feel like you see being built these days, you get what it felt like to walk around a square many years ago, I think that's nice to preserve."
Clinard said the county has discussed building a new court facility in the coming years. He said they have looked at two locations, one in downtown Bentonville, and the other near the Benton County Jail.
Clinard said the restoration of the historic courthouse will begin as soon as possible.
"We're going to immediately begin the planning phase, specifications, and once we get that done and we build that project, then we can get a schedule put together and tell everybody what to expect," Clinard said.