Gwinnett County commissioners have approved a contract with highest scoring firm Gilbane Building Company to build an addition to the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center and a new parking deck. The voter-approved 2009 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program is funding the bulk of the $75 million project with the remainder coming from the capital project fund.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash said, As our population approaches 1 million people, demand on the Gwinnett County court system continues to grow. Additional courtrooms and associated facilities are needed to serve jurors, victims, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, witnesses and others who visit the courts. I am thankful to all of the voters who recognized the need for additional court facilities and approved SPLOST to fund the expansion.
The new 180,000 square-foot building will consist of four stories and a lower level it will house courtrooms, a jury assembly room and holding cells. A security clearance lobby will connect the new building and an adjacent 1,500-space parking structure. The three new structures will be located in the space occupied by the current parking structure. The new building will also connect to the existing Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.
Chief Superior Court Judge Melodie Snell Conner said, On behalf of the judiciary, we are excited and grateful that this project is finally underway. Over the last several years, the Court system and related agencies have completely outgrown the current courthouse. This much needed and anticipated expansion will greatly enable us to better serve the citizens of Gwinnett and insure that all litigation in the Gwinnett Courts is handled as expeditiously and safely as possible. While we know the building process will inevitably cause some confusion and disruption, the ultimate benefit of additional larger courtrooms and office space as well as increased juror assembly space is well worth the temporary discomfort. We look forward to working with County administrators in moving the project forward as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The Gilbane team has built 59 courthouses in the past 10 years, including 16 in Georgia, and more than 50 parking decks in the past 5 years.