Davidson County Courthouse needs upgrades

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- At the clerk of court’s office in Davidson County, space is pretty hard to come by.

“All of our employees are in very tight quarters,” said Brian Shipwash, clerk of Superior Court.

From the bathroom to the break room, file cabinets and boxes are stored everywhere.

Tight spaces Shipwash says that are also in need of repair.

Shipwash is trying to get county commissioners to move forward with plans to expand.

He says the office, built in 1958, isn’t big enough for the 486 people it serves daily.

“Our citizens deserve better,” Shipwash said. “Our employees deserve better.”

In 2013, county commissioners approved a plan to move the clerk’s office into the Windstream building a block away from the courthouse on State Street. The expansion which would triple its space.

But Shipwash says those plans were stalled until last November and then were postponed again.

“They haven't began to move the first speck of dust in this building,” Shipwash said.

County Manager Zeb Hanner says the project’s price tag of nearly $7 million is a little steep.

He gave this statement to FOX8:

"It all comes down to how to spend taxpayer money, making sure we are prudent. The expansion plans are being reviewed by the facilities committee. The price of the expansion was higher than we expected."

But Shipwash says after four years of waiting, expansion plans can’t be put off any longer.

“It's just got to the critical point where delay is unacceptable,” Shipwash said.

In May, county commissioners voted to postpone the expansion for another six months.