Tennessee Strawberry Festival Courthouse events are unaffected by repairs.
A collapsed section of ceiling forced the closure of the Rhea County Courthouse today. Late Wednesday afternoon, just prior to closing, a section of ceiling gave away and fell. Tommy Brady, who oversees the courthouse and the surrounding grounds, stated that those inside the building at the time of the ceiling collapsing described it as a loud crashing sound. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a section of ceiling’s sheetrock and insulation on the third floor in the stairway had collapsed and fell two flights of stairs onto both the 2nd and 1st floor landings.
Rhea County Executive George Thacker stated that initially his concern was for the safety of the employees as well as the public. Therefore, the decision was made to close the courthouse today.
Thacker says that the damaged ceiling had been inspected and that the cleanup and repairs necessary will begin right away.
“Of all times for this to happen, here we are right in the middle of the Tennessee Strawberry Festival week”, said Thacker. The Fine Arts League and the Strawberry Auction will both go on as scheduled inside the courthouse.
According to Thacker the repairs are expected to be complete and the courthouse back to normal business by Monday morning.