SHERIDAN – The town justices in Sheridan will preside from a new bench in what once was St. John Bosco Catholic Church.
The new location for town court on Route 20 will be dedicated on Monday with an open house for the public from 10 to 11:30 a.m. before the town’s annual Memorial Day parade.
Town offices have already been moved to the former church rectory and the large auditorium is used as a community building.
New Councilman Glenn Reed, who has been chairing the project to renovate the former church building, said the Town Board supported the idea of trying to include as many of the elements of the church as possible. “It was an important part of the community in Sheridan,” he said.
Inside the new courthouse, large wooden beams are still visible and people waiting to appear before a judge will sit in the original church pews.
Reed said the town could not leave any element that would remind people of religion but tried to incorporate many of the church’s unique qualities into the new structure as possible.
From the ceiling there are intricate metal fixtures that were in the original church and the wall behind the justice’s chair still has a gold and rose colored tile artwork that was donated to the church by the Feinan family.
Some of the marble that was previously on the altar was cut and used as window sills and the brass rails that line the steps to the bench were recovered from the choir loft.
Town Clerk Julie Szumigala, a former parishioner of the church, said she was pleased with the changes. She said several curious community members have stopped by for an early tour before the open house on Monday. “People have been pleased with how it is all coming together,” she said.
Spacious offices for the court clerks, private rooms for consultations with attorneys and clients, and storage space for court records are all included in the new building.
The Memorial Day parade will leave from the parking lot adjacent to the new courthouse at noon and proceed to the cemetery for ceremonies.
Reed was sworn in as a town councilman last week after Amy Farnham announced she needed to leave her post to take a new position as deputy superintendent for administration at Southport Correctional Facility. Farnham has a long history in community service and has been on the town board for 10 years.