LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - The Lee County Commission approved a request to move forward on the Lee County Justice Center expansion project at a meeting Monday night.
The plan for expanding the facility was originally suspended in 2011 due to a downturn in the economy.
"The project, before it was suspended, construction documents were 90 percent complete," explains Lee County Administrator, Roger Rendleman. "We were probably 30 to 60 days away from putting the project out for bid."
The design as of now is limited to the expansion of the District Attorney's office and remodeling of the Circuit Clerk's office.
However, with improvements in technology, the County will reconfigure plans to improve other areas and departments in the building as well as improve security.
"Now this would also help out Court Referral office and Juvenile Probation. It will give them a little more based on reevaluating where everybody stands as far as personnel and future," says Rendleman.
A lower priority in the expansion project is the construction of a multipurpose courtroom which would include up-to-date technology that can be used for high profile court cases.
With the economy improving, the Commission believes this is right time begin the renovation process.
"There isn't a heavy commitment to an investment right now, but when you award that contract for bid that's when the real commitment is there, but because there is some effort and time and money involved in redesigning and putting out there for a bid to see what we can get in today's market, this is something the commission needs to authorize to move forward," states Rendleman.
The project is expected to go out for bid in late summer of this year with a possible construction start date in the fall.
Rendleman also estimates that the project will cost between seven and eight million dollars.