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Proposal would make a library out of Santa Rosa County Courthouse
SANTA ROSA COUNTY -- Santa Rosa Commissioners are still working on a plan to build a new courthouse in Milton and shut down the old one.
But what should be done with that historic building?
A non-profit group called "Main Street Milton" is promoting a plan to build a high-tech library.
The courthouse is decked out with Christmas decorations and some of the bail bondsmen, lawyers and other businesses nearby are also getting into the holiday spirit.
The proposal to turn this building into a library would change the way it looks and supporters hope, the way the area feels.
Here's what the Santa Rosa County courthouse looked like when it first opened back in 1927. And it's what backers of the proposal hope it can look like again.
Cassandra Sharp, Vice President, Main Street Milton: "The plan would call for removing the two wings of the courthouse, which were added later and then restoring the original building back to its original beauty."
They hope to transform the courthouse into a state-of-the-art public library and community center complete with computers, an art gallery, meeting spaces and more.
"I think it brings the right kind of people downtown."
As the owner of the old post office cafe and antique shop nearby, she has a vested interest in improving the area's feel.
"At night, you can get a little bit nervous. As the people walk back and forth between for instance the courthouse and the probation office, you know, not everyone is so comfortable."
Nancy Hagman, Works in Milton: "I don't think there is a lot of access to libraries in this area."
Folks we spoke with in Milton say they support the proposal.
"We need kids and adults to be able to go and use computers. If they don't have 'em at home, they need access to them."
Constantine Westroy, Milton:
"I think it's a great idea. People don't wanna, don't want wanna hang around the courthouse."
County commissioners are considering the proposal but have said it's too early yet to determine whether it will become a reality.
They say they're still figuring out where to build a new courthouse.
A meeting on that topic is scheduled for next Monday.