Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Boone courts plan 50-year run

Work to start in March on justice center

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        BURLINGTON - County leaders expect the new Boone County Justice Center to be large enough to handle court functions for at least the next 50 years.

        Final design plans were presented at Tuesday's Boone County Fiscal Court meeting. Construction of the $11.9 million, 80,000-square foot building is scheduled to start in March, with completion by August 2002.

        The building will be located across from the present county courthouse.

        “We're going to have capacity for another four judges in this building,” County Administrator James Parsons said.

        The northern side of the building will be four stories tall, and the southern side will be two. Judge-executive Gary Moore said the state Administrative Office of Courts is paying for the building because it will house state offices now located in the county courthouse.

        Bill Pickering, an architect with the Lexington architectural firm CMW, which designed the structure, said the center will include:

        • Traffic court on the first floor. Mr. Parsons said most people who visit the courthouse would go there.

        • Two district courtrooms on the second floor. District judges also hear traffic cases.

        • Two third-floor courtrooms for Family Court, which handles juvenile matters. There will also be a law library and grand jury room.

        • Two circuit courtrooms on the fourth floor.

        There are now two district judges and one each in Family Court and Circuit Court.

        In addition to the courtrooms, Mr. Pickering said there will be office space for judges and support staff, a cable television setup that will allow proceedings to be seen anywhere in the building, and a holding area for prisoners taken from the jail across the street.

        Mr. Pickering said securi ty will be much tighter in the new building because the public will be separated from inmates.

        In other action, commissioners removed an item regarding a 40-acre portion of the Meadowood Golf Course.

        The Rhein Interest Inc. of Sycamore Township, withdrew its request for a zoning change. It had planned to turn the northernmost nine holes of the 18-hole layout into apartments, townhomes and carriage homes.


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