FLORENCE, S.C. — The new $32 million courthouse in Florence County is now open.

The county held a formal ceremony to dedicate the courthouse Friday, but the building opened to the public earlier this month.

The old courtrooms were on the 11th floor of the county building and officials say they had inadequate security for people who might need to escape in an emergency and judges, lawyers and jail inmates.

The new courthouse is three floors and had a modern design to increase security.

The Morning News of Florence reports this is Florence County’s fourth courthouse. The first one was built in 1890s. It was replaced in the 1930s by a building with no air conditioning before the courtrooms moved into what was the new county skyscraper in the 1960s.

Information from: Morning News, http://www.scnow.com

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