Kentucky Court of Justice
Grant County to break ground for new judicial center Nov. 8
FRANKFORT, Ky., Nov. 2, 2007 -- The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Grant County Judicial Center on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. EST. The event will take place on the construction site at 218 S. Main St. in Williamstown.
The Kentucky General Assembly approved the Grant County project in 2005 and authorized its funding in 2006. The new judicial center has been budgeted at $14.5 million for 45,381 square feet and is expected to be completed in June 2009. Construction will begin soon after the groundbreaking ceremony.
"I appreciate the legislators who supported improved judicial centers for Grant and other counties," said Chief Justice 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, general manager of the Department of Court Facilities for the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). "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."
JRA Architects, with offices in Lexington and Louisville, Ky., designed the Grant County Judicial Center. Codell Construction Co. of Winchester, Ky., is the construction manager for the project and Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, which serves Kentucky and six other states, is the financial agent.
Grant County Judge Executive Darrell Link will speak at the dedication. Chief Justice Lambert will also be on hand to take part in the ceremony. Other state and local officials expected to attend include state legislators, judges, attorneys and the Grant County circuit court clerk. For more information, contact Judge Executive Link at 859-823-7561.
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 (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 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 more than 3,500 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.