The new Warren Country Court House


by Braeden Graham, Staff Reporter

In 2018, the Indianola board decided that Warren county would tear down the courthouse that sits in the middle of the square and replace it with a brand-new, $30 million building. The new plan retains the four courtrooms and 88 bed jail promised to voters when they approved the plan to build on the Indianola Square in August 2018.

I have lived in Indianola my whole life. I went to high school here, and this is where my parents and siblings live as well. The old courthouse obviously had some limitations, but it made the square of Indianola look a lot better than it does now. Indianola’s town square has an older, more vintage vibe for all of the buildings. This new building simply looks like it isn’t even supposed to be there. It just doesn’t fit in. 

Instead of spending $30 million on a courthouse, the county could have approved many more important things. For example, adding new chain restaurants is a great thing. The town square used to have a park around the courthouse with parking and trees for families to go and hang out around on a Friday night. Now there is hardly any room for parking, and there is no grass whatsoever. 

Indianola used to host a weekly bike night for hundreds of bikers from all over Iowa to come to listen to music and park their bikes along the square so that everyone could walk around, listen to live music and look at all of the bikes. After the courthouse went under construction, they have now moved the bike night out of Indianola. That truly was an every Friday night experience for not only the locals, but for people that traveled every week for an awesome night. 

During the construction process, they decided to reduce all roads that went in and out of the square. This caused multiple local businesses to take a financial hit. Those businesses on the square thrive off of people walking around and exploring the shops. It isn’t possible to do so when the roads in front of the stores are all closed. 

Funaro’s is a local deli that I go to weekly. The owner told me that the road in front of Funaro’s had been under construction for three months. 

The bright side is that the town of Indianola has a brand new massive, futuristic building in the square. However, I just think that there were way more things to take care of in the county first before even worrying about a building that none of the locals cared about. It has turned the square into more so just a part of the town now. The Indianola High School is very old and is, in fact, smaller and older than the middle school. Before starting to worry about the courthouse, the high school could have been redone.