Kentucky Court of Justice
Laurel County Judicial Center groundbreaking set for March 20 has been canceled
FRANKFORT, Ky., March 19, 2008 – The groundbreaking ceremony for the Laurel County Judicial Center has been temporarily postponed. The event scheduled for Thursday, March 20, at 2 p.m. EDT, at 101 S. Main St. in London, has been canceled and a new date will be announced as soon as the groundbreaking is rescheduled.
The Kentucky General Assembly authorized the Laurel County project in 2005 and approved its funding in 2006. The total project cost is $24 million. The building will be 82,899 square feet and is expected to be completed in January 2010. Construction will begin soon after the groundbreaking ceremony.
“I appreciate the legislators who supported improved judicial centers for Laurel 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.”
Because 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, executive officer of the Department of 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.”
CMW Inc. architectural firm of Lexington designed the Laurel County Judicial Center. Codell Construction Co. of Winchester is the construction manager for the project and Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, which serves Kentucky and six other states, is the financial agent.
Chief Justice Lambert and Laurel County Judge Executive Lawrence Kuhl will be among the speakers at the ceremony. Other state and local officials expected to attend include judges, attorneys and the Laurel County Circuit Court clerk. For more information, contact Judge Executive Kuhl at 606-864-4640.
Process for Constructing Judicial Facilities
Once funding for a judicial center is authorized, the AOC Department of Facilities begins working with local communities to assemble the Project Development Board in each county, VanHook said. 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 executive officer of the Department of Facilities and legal counsel serve in an advisory capacity.
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,” VanHook 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.