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Outward Progress on Courthouse Renovations

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Over the last six months, the $21 million Courthouse construction project has made significant headway. In February of this year, we were provided with an early look at the developments. Public Information Officer Dominique Holmes touched on the current progress of the courthouse renovations when she was reached for comment earlier this month.

The construction project by Manhattan Construction is nearing the halfway point, as some portions of the interior painting have been completed, as well as the installation of the ceiling grids. In order for the walls to be framed and finished, the crew is also removing the temporary shoring. The contractor plans to be largely finished with the new entrance by December, barring one aspect. The newly updated entrance is planned to be “operational with temporary plywood in place of glass.”

When asked for further details on the courthouse’s construction, Holmes shared that security and the expansion of the facilities were noted as critical aspects in the construction of the new areas. Inside and out, tweaks, large and small, are being made to modernize the establishment. The questions posed and the answers given by the public information officer are shared below:

What was the impetus for the project?

“Courtroom space was needed,” the office told the Sun straightforwardly.

Why were these renovations necessary?

“This part of the building that is being renovated is 33 years old, and as the county grew, additional courtroom space was needed. Security upgrades and 4 more courtrooms are being added.”

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Besides the points listed in the previous email, are there any renovations that have been completed, and what other parts of the project still need work?

“Yes, the Clerk of Circuit Court renovation section is complete. That section cost approximately $200,000 and involved 20,393 square feet on first and second floors of the north wing. The entire building is also getting a fire alarm upgrade. The structural elevator shaft is fully in place and the ceiling grid is also in place and they are starting to hang lights within the grid. Those are the updates we have at this time. When the lobby is ready to be reopened, that will also include the opening of the new ADA parking area.”

Are there any other plans or simply hopes for renovations in the future once this is complete?

“At this time, there are no additional plans. As far as additional renovations, that would be decided by the Board of County Commissioners at a future time, if discussed.”

Once the final panel is placed and the last brush stroke is painted, the government building should be safer, more spacious, and more efficient as a result. The Sun will stay up to date on these developments and will look to provide more details when the courthouse has been completed.

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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