Section of Will County Courthouse Floor Buckles

Bricks came loose from the floor on the main level near the elevators on Tuesday.

Some bricks came loose near the elevators on the first floor of the Will County courthouse on Monday. Credit: Submitted photo
Some bricks came loose near the elevators on the first floor of the Will County courthouse on Monday. Credit: Submitted photo
As plans move forward for a new Will County courthouse, the old one showed some signs of wear and tear this week.

A section of the floor on the main level of the courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., buckled near the elevators on Tuesday afternoon.

People were waiting in line for the elevator when some bricks came loose, affecting a 12-foot-by-4-foot section of the floor, Will County Court Administrator Kurt Sangmeister said.

"The bricks basically bubbled up" because the mortar securing them to the cement floor has deteriorated over the years, he said.

The adhesive likely came loose due to decades of wear, including courthouse patrons tracking in water and salt from the street.

The incident happened at around 1:15 p.m. — a busy time of day with lots of people arriving for afternoon court calls, Sangmeister said.

"It was reported right away and security secured the area," he said. The area was cordoned off and an architect and a structural engineer were called in to make sure it was safe to keep the courthouse open. Sangmeister said air testing was also done to make sure no hazards, such as asbestos or harmful fumes, were present.

Officials determined that the area was safe, and the courthouse remained open, Sangmeister said. No one was hurt in the incident.

"It comes with an older building — you have things that come up," he added, saying repairs will be done over the weekend.

The incident could bolster calls to replace the 45-year-old courthouse. 

"It does highlight the new for the new courthouse project," Will County Board member and capital improvements committee chairwoman Denise Winfrey said. "It's incumbent upon us to build a new property."

Will County is looking into potential future sites for a brand-new courthouse. The most likely option seems to be the former First Midwest Bank Property, located directly across the street from the existing courthouse at 50 W. Jefferson St.

Last week, Winfrey said Will County is finalizing negotiations to purchase the property.

"It's very close to being finished up," Winfrey said of the deal on Wednesday.


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