Updated: Apr 27, 2020
2019 Award of Merit - Adaptable Use
The Clay County Courthouse was built in 1888 in the middle of the town of Hayesville.
The County owned and operated the building for court and local government offices until 2007 when they built a new governmental center outside of town and vacated the building. Once empty, the interior was stripped of all interior wood and most of the plaster was removed down to the brick, causing some walls to deteriorate and collapse.
Small Town Main Street partner, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association, stepped up to save the building and began community fundraising efforts. Following an extensive $1.2 million dollar fundraising effort and stabilization efforts, the rehabilitation of the National Register property began in early 2017.
The facility reopened in July 2018 as the Historic Clay County Courthouse/Beal Center, which was named in honor of philanthropist and project contributor, Ron Beal.
The Courtroom on the second floor is now used for performances, weddings and special events and will accommodate up to 175 people. The popular facility offers a bride’s dressing room, a catering kitchen, a small meeting room, restrooms and a gift shop.
Thirteen new businesses moved into the downtown commercial core during fiscal year 2018-2019 and four existing businesses expanded. Thirty-nine full-time and ninety-two part-time job were created in town as a result of this project. Public investment in Hayesville for the past two years totaled $603,000 and private investment included $4.7 million dollars. Approximately 27% of the private investment funds were used for the courthouse rehabilitation, while the remainder was invested in the businesses.
Congratulations to this Small Town Main Street community for its 2019 award.
The Economic Vitality category award recognizes a local government, organization, individual or business that has completed an initiative that has strengthened the economic assets of downtown and the community.
This year’s Award of Merit is presented to: Historic Hayesville, Inc., Clay County, Town of Hayesville, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association,
Ronnell S. Beal Foundation, Paul Price, Courthouse Restoration Committee Chairman, Joe Slaton, Architect, Penland Builders, Woodlawn Construction, Site Worx Construction for the Clay County Historic Courthouse Adaptive Reuse