Courthouse reopens, creates frustration for some

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse partially re-opened on Monday, July 15th. After a full week of closure, that's a success in itself. However, for some of the first people through the doors, those first few hours got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Security guards tried to take a proactive approach outside. They gave people directions on where to go as they walked in, and even passed out informational bulletins. But according to some people using the courthouse’s services, it wasn’t enough.

"Everyone is bumping into each other,” said Casey Jones.

"Nobody knows where they`re going. Especially us,” laughed Jessica Ermis.

The heat inside and the lack of air conditioning just added to some people’s frustrations.

“They seem like they are just really aggravated because it`s hot in there,” Winfield Gaylor said about the people inside the courthouse.

“The whole time we were in there that`s what we were saying. How annoying and terrible the hallways are and how you can’t get through anywhere,” said Jones.

It was too much for Casey Jones and Jessica Ermis that they decided to walk out before their business was taken care of.

"We didn`t even want to sit through it. It was too much,” said Jones, "The heat and the fact the courtroom was so small, and there was no room for anyone. People were just piling in, and I was like if I don`t have to I'm not going to."

A warning was posted next to the elevators, asking for patience. Many who visited the building opted instead to take the stairs -- walking up at least five flights to where they needed to go.

Caution tape and plastic drapes block entrances to parts of the first four floors.

"The big issue now for us is getting some of the carpeting replaced and some of the tiles replaced on floors one through four," said Don Tyler, Director of Administrative Services.

Inside the courtrooms, it's business as usual. Despite the heat and commotion, Chief Judge Jeff Kremers said it was nice to finally see people walking through the revolving door.

"This is a huge step for us. I mean this is a huge complex. I mean it’s one and a half times the size of the US Bank Building to put it in perspective. So to have it totally shut down a week ago and to have it open a week later, even at this level is pretty amazing,” said Chief Judge Kremers.

County officials don't know when the entire building will be back open. The entrances on 9th and 10th Streets were closed Monday.

People are asked to enter on Wells Street, or take the sky walk from the Safety Building until the courthouse is up and running normal again.