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Historic building becomes law offices
March 10, 2011 Jerry Purvis    Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen

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Attorneys Bell Island (left) and Sterling Huff have moved into their newly remodeled offices in the historic Courier building in downtown Gering.

One of Gering’s historic downtown buildings, built in 1915 by newspaper publisher A.B. Wood, has been remodeled and updated to serve as the law offices of Island, Huff and Nichols.

The building served as the home of the Gering Courier until 2009, when the newspaper was pulled out of Gering and relocated to Scottsbluff.

A local business tried unsuccessfully to make the building work, and it appeared the local landmark would join the list of vacant downtown buildings. That’s when the law firm decided to move from their Scottsbluff offices to Gering.

Bell Island said it took about 10 months of renovation work to update the building for their needs. That included building a handicap ramp outside the rear entrance, dividing up the large rooms to make for offices and conference space, and generally modernizing the building.

“We wanted to keep a sense of the building’s history,” Island said. “The people we worked with really did a nice job of getting things set up and making it easy for us to use. In that sense, the biggest challenge was being patient until we could move in.”

Island said they’ve left the second floor for future remodeling. They also plan to get the historic clock on the building exterior up and running again.

“We’ve been in the new building about two weeks and it’s been very functional for us,” he said. “It’s also wonderful to be in downtown Gering. We’re able to walk to the courthouse and I walk from home to work. It’s just nice to be here.”
The building is on the National Register of Historic Sites,” Island said. “We’ve made it useful but still in keeping with the character that’s always made it a downtown landmark. It’s not the paper anymore, but it’s still a part of Gering history.”

There are still some finishing touches that need to be done on the building, but Island said they will host an open house in the near future so the public can see the updates.

‘We’ve had a lot of people in already, and we’ve had nothing but positive comments,” he said.
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