Kentucky Court of Justice
Adair County to break ground for $10.6 million judicial center Jan. 22
FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 10, 2008 -- The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Adair County Judicial Center on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 1 p.m. CST. The event will take place at the Columbia Fire Station at 200 Merchant St. in Columbia.
The Kentucky General Assembly approved the Adair County project in 2005 and authorized its funding in 2006. The new judicial center has been budgeted at $10.6 million for 37,232 square feet and is expected to be completed in September 2009. Construction will begin soon after the groundbreaking ceremony.
“I appreciate the legislators who supported improved judicial centers for Adair and other counties,” said Chief Justice of Kentucky Joseph E. Lambert. “Kentucky citizens generate more than 1 million court cases each year. Our citizens deserve safe, efficient facilities in which to conduct their business before the courts.”
Since the new judicial centers often replace older, vastly inadequate facilities, the new buildings greatly increase the efficiency of services and public flow, said Garlan VanHook, general manager of the Department of Court Facilities for the Administrative Office of the Courts.
“All new judicial centers are equipped with the modern infrastructure to support data, computer, video and networking technology,” he said. “They also provide the highest level of Kentucky court security through a single-point entry with magnetometers and security personnel.”
DLZ architects in Frankfort designed the Adair County Judicial Center. Branscum Construction Co. of Russell Springs is the construction manager for the project and Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, which serves Kentucky and six other states, is the financial agent.
Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton will speak at the dedication. Chief Justice Lambert will also take part in the ceremony. Other state and local officials expected to attend include judges, attorneys and the Adair County circuit court clerk. For more information, contact Judge Executive Melton at 270-384-4703.
Process for Constructing Judicial Facilities
VanHook said that once funding is authorized, the AOC Department of Court Facilities begins to work with local communities to assemble the Project Development Board in each county. This board ensures that county and court officials have input on all aspects of the project, including decisions on the site, architect and contractor. The PDB consists of the county judge executive, a fiscal court representative, the chief circuit judge, the circuit court clerk, the AOC director or designee and a Kentucky Bar Association designee. The AOC’s general manager of court facilities and legal counsel serve in an advisory capacity.
VanHook explained that the AOC provides oversight and administration of court facilities in accordance with House Bill 734, which was passed by the 2000 General Assembly.
“As a result of this legislation, the AOC created a process that would fairly and objectively determine facility needs,” he said. “Our Facilities Management System has earned the Kentucky Court of Justice a national reputation for being able to identify facilities with the greatest needs for new construction, renovation, expansion and adaptation.”
As the administrative and fiscal agent for the Kentucky Court of Justice, the AOC oversees construction of court facilities statewide. The AOC also supports the activities of approximately 4,000 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.