The new security checkpoint at the Rock County Courthouse entrance was not yet open on Monday. 

Every visitor to the Rock County Courthouse will go through an airport-like security screening starting Thursday, county officials announced Monday.

Until now, people paying taxes, getting marriage licenses or accessing dozens of other services could enter the courthouse through multiple doors.

Only those entering the side of the building that houses courtrooms and related offices have been screened for weapons.

Those familiar with the longtime security checkpoint at the entrance to the courts area will find the new arrangement similar, except for those who wear steel-toed shoes.

Those wearing the protective footwear will have to take off their shoes and place them on a belt so they can be scanned, said Brent Sutherland, county facilities director.

Purses and other bags also will be scanned, and people will walk through one of two metal-sensing portals, Sutherland said. Those in wheelchairs will be scanned with a wand.

Starting Thursday, visitors will be allowed entry only through the main entrance from the parking lot on the courthouse’s west, or downhill, side.

Visitors should park in the west-side surface or underground lots, Sutherland said.

A contractor has been working on updates to the courthouse for months, including the new security screening checkpoint inside the main entrance. The county board approved the $5.2 million project, which included parking upgrades, in its 2019 budget.

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