Crawford County’s circuit clerk has moved into her newly remodeled office in the former county jail.
Crawford County Circuit Clerk Sharon Blount-Baker and her staff have made the final move in their new office, located in the former county jail at 317 Main St., Van Buren.
Blount-Baker, who paid for the majority of the remodel with money from her own department, wanted to bring some of the character of downtown Van Buren into her new office, she said.
The front reception area is reminiscent of vintage bank foyers, with a large front counter with arched windows and wrought iron bars that are a reminder of the building’s former purpose.
“We wanted the front counter to mimic downtown, and we wanted the public to come in and (see that) we can finally serve them,” Blount-Baker said.
In her former office in the Crawford County Courthouse, the front entrance was narrow and crowded by the clerks’ modular offices, making it difficult to provide the public with more personalized service, Blount-Baker said.
Office administrator Carrie Kilgore, who now sits in her own private office that was previously the jail’s radio room, said the peace and quiet allow her to work with more efficiency.
“Yesterday, I got the billing done in no time,” Kilgore said. “It usually takes two days, because of being interrupted to answer phones and help customers.”
Cream walls, glowing woods and special lighting give the office a feeling of warmth that is unexpected in a building originally meant for the institutionalized detention of criminals.
“We think it’s beautiful; we love the space,” said Cherilyn Malone, a recording…
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