Russell Co. is a step closer to new judicial building

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Russell County is one step closer to having a brand new judicial center. After months of planning, the design for the addition was chosen and shown to the public at Russell County Commission meeting Wednesday.

The future for the Russell County judicial building is a $6 million expansion that will mean a world of difference for employees.

"A lot of issues they had with the existing building: handicap accessibility, not enough restrooms, the safety of the judges, jurors having to walk out into the public to get to the jury rooms. We're solving a lot of the problems the existing building had," Scott Holmes explained.

He's an architect with Hecht Burdeshaw and presented two design plans for the project and County Commissioners decided on a more traditional look for the new building, "One was more traditional like the existing building. In 20 years when someone sees the addition it may look like the building was done at the same time."

The next steps involve processing paperwork, taking construction bids, negotiations, then construction begins.

"The existing building is a timeless structure in Phenix City. If you're looking at the front of the building at the main entrance you won't see the building at all, it's behind it. If you're in downtown Phenix City on Broad looking up, you'll see it behind it. It's in the sloped parking lot that is there now," Holmes told News Leader Nine.

Russell County Commissioners signed a contract with the architects at their meeting. Over the next few months, all the planning will be going on and after that, construction should take 12 to 14 months.

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