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Kenton County Courthouse Undergoes Major Renovations

The Historic Kenton County Courthouse in Independence has been undergoing major changes to improve services and safety for citizens and employees.

A former firehouse that is adjacent to the Courthouse served as the offices for the Kenton County Buildings & Grounds Department. This building was underutilized and in need of long-overdue improvements.

“We decided to consolidate our Buildings & Grounds Department in the same building as Public Works,” said Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann. “This allowed us to level the firehouse building, expand parking next to the Historic Kenton County Courthouse, and reduce county maintenance costs.”

Along with increased parking, the Courthouse is undergoing significant maintenance to assure its long-term viability. Renovations are underway to mitigate water infiltration, which includes reworking of the exterior fire staircase, exterior parapet restoration, reworking downspouts and adding lightning protection.

Another essential renovation currently taking place is the restructuring of the County Clerk’s work space in light of COVID-19.

“The Courthouse presented several concerns related to safety for employees and visitors,” Knochelmann said. “We needed to be able to provide appropriate social distancing and protection. The prior set-up did not meet COVID-19 health guidelines.”

Part of the renovation will involve utilizing the old record room. All county records were moved to the new Kenton County Government Center last September.

“Working with Gabrielle Summe, the County Clerk, we are looking to improve the flow and efficiency for visitors,” Knochelmann said. “These changes will provide a much needed upgrade and ensure better safety for those working and conducting business.”

It is estimated that substantial completion of the work may take up to sixty days. In the meantime, citizens can still utilize the County Clerk’s services at the Kenton County Government Center at 1840 Simon Kenton Way.

“I appreciate the Fiscal Court commitment to improving the function and flow of the courthouse, while upgrading the interior to protect our employees and the public,” said Gabrielle Summe, the Kenton County Clerk.

“The historic Courthouse remains an iconic structure in Kenton County,” Knochelmann stated. “These renovations focus on preserving it for future generations, while assuring improved services and safety for citizens and employees alike.”

-Staff report