FRANKFORT, Ky., March 9, 2005 ¾ Eighteen Kentucky counties have been authorized for new or renovated court facilities, announced Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert today. The announcement came shortly after the 2005 General Assembly approved the 2004-2006 state budget, which included capital projects statewide.
"Nearly 1 million court cases flow through Kentucky’s courtrooms each year," said Chief Justice Lambert. "Our state’s courthouses have long served as the core of our communities. That's why I'm pleased our legislators have given their approval for 18 counties to get the court facilities they so desperately need and deserve.
"We began requesting these judicial center projects in the year 2002," he added. "I want to thank the state senators and representatives for their efforts to help bring improved court facilities to the citizens in these 18 counties."
"The Judicial Branch is responsible for providing citizens with safe, cost-effective buildings where they can conduct court business," said Garlan Vanhook, general manager of facilities for the Administrative Office of the Courts. The AOC is the fiscal agent for the Kentucky Court of Justice and oversees construction of court facilities statewide.
Vanhook explained that because new judicial centers often replace older, vastly inadequate facilities, the new buildings greatly increase the efficiency of services and public flow. All new judicial centers are equipped with the modern infrastructure to support data, computer, video and networking technology. They also provide the highest level of Kentucky court security through a single-point entry with magnetometers and security personnel.
Vanhook said that once funding is authorized, the AOC Facilities Department begins to work with local communities to assemble the Project Development Board (PDB) 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 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."
List of Approved Court Projects
The following is a complete list of court facilities approved by the 2005 Kentucky General Assembly:
1. Adair County, new judicial center, 32,580 square feet, $10,468,000
Sen. Vernie McGaha and Rep. Russ Mobley
2. Taylor County, new judicial center, 48,611 square feet, $14,806,000
Sen. Dan Kelly and Rep. Russ Mobley
3. Laurel County, new judicial center, 86,149 square feet, $23,709,000
Sen. Tom Jensen and Reps. Marie Rader, Charles Siler, Jim Stewart and Tommy Turner
4. Shelby County, new judicial center, 57,976 square feet, $18,441,000
Sen. Gary Tapp and Rep. Brad Montell
5. Pulaski County, new judicial center, 77,740 square feet, $22,421,000
Sen. Vernie McGaha and Reps. Danny Ford, Jimmy Higdon, Jeffrey Hoover, Tommy Turner and Ken Upchurch
6. Green County, new judicial center, 31,444 square feet, $9,819,000
Sen. Richie Sanders and Rep. James Comer
7. Project Pool:
Robertson County, addition, 7,441 square feet, $2,229,000
Sen. Charlie Borders and Rep. Thomas McKee
Gallatin County, addition, 7,500 square feet, $2,229,000
Sen. Dick Roeding and Rep. Royce Adams
Pendleton County, addition, 7,545 square feet, $2,228,000
Sen. Katie Stine and Rep. Thomas McKee
8. Washington County, new judicial center, 34,493 square feet, $11,381,000
Sen. Dan Kelly and Rep. Mike Harmon
9. Livingston County, addition/alteration, 21,936 square feet, $7,583,000
Sen. Dorsey Ridley and Rep. Mike Cherry
10. Grant County, new judicial center, 45,381 square feet, $14,523,000
Sen. Damon Thayer and Rep. Royce Adams
11. Jackson County, new judicial center, 34,493 square feet, $11,034,000
Sen. Tom Jensen and Rep. Marie Rader
12. Grayson County, new judicial center, 35,025 square feet, $11,507,000
Sen. Carroll Gibson and Rep. C.B. Embry
13. Logan County, new judicial center, 45,381 square feet, $14,861,000
Sen. Joey Pendleton and Rep. Sheldon Baugh
14. Hart County, new judicial center, 34,493 square feet, $11,315,000
Sen. Carroll Gibson and Rep. Terry Shelton
15. Trigg County, new judicial center, 32,049 square feet, $10,224,000
Sen. Ken Winters and Reps. James Carr and Melvin Henley
16. Boyd County, new judicial center, 60,771 square feet, $19,148,000
Sen. Walter Blevins and Reps. Rocky Adkins, Tanya Pullin and John Vincent
The AOC is the administrative arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of more than 3,400 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.