The Reynolds County Courthouse in Centerville will be closed for the rest of this week and will re-open Tuesday, Sept. 5, for business as usual. All offices will be closed during this time.
The closing was made necessary due to an infiltration of bats discovered last week after a strange odor was reported in the courtroom following a courthouse session.
A walk-through inspection of the courthouse revealed two dead bats in the building – one in a ceiling light, and another in a closet.
The country commissioners contacted several pest control companies in the area for competitive bids for fixing the problem, and found only one (Orkin Pest Control) which could get to the job before the middle of September.
Upon inspection, a member of the Orkin Bat Division discovered two large piles of bat feces in the crawl space area between the building’s roof and the tongue-and-groove ceiling of the courtroom.
The pest control inspector estimated approximately 75- 100 bats have regularly been using the crawl space for a shelter, accessing the space through outside air vents.
The courthouse remained open through Monday, Aug. 28, for a county property tax rate hearing and to allow the several county offices to prepare for a week-long closing of the building for removal of the bats followed by a thorough cleanup of the places the bats had accessed.
“To avoid health issues with employees and patrons, the County Commission decided to close the entire courthouse while the cleanup is going on,” Presiding Commissioner Joe Loyd said Friday evening, Aug. 25.
“The courthouse will be open for normal business hours Tuesday, Sept. 5, following the Labor Day holiday. We apologize for any inconvenience while the issue is being fixed.”