11 months after opening Duval County Courthouse awarded 'certificate of occupancy

Published On: May 03 2013 07:11:10 PM EDT   Updated On: May 03 2013 08:14:39 PM EDT

The way the structure was built and its safety features are still something officials have to dealing with. Currently, the courthouse is operating under a temporary certificate of occupancy.


Nearly 11 months after it opened to the public, the Duval County Courthouse is finally awarded a certificate of occupancy.

Mayor Alvin Brown's office confirmed Friday afternoon that the long list of outstanding issues between the city and the general contractor, Turner Construction, have been satisfied and the building passed a final inspection.

That doesn't mean all pieces of the project are complete.  New state attorney's offices that were suppose to be done last year in an overhauled old Federal Courthouse (pictured, below) that sits on adjoining property has not even started.

 Right now the plan is for it to be done in December 2014.

The state attorney's office continues to run out of its old office along the river, and staff commutes to the courthouse.

State Attorney Angela Corey recently emailed the city letting them know where she stands on the issue. The email says, "It's regrettable that the city decision in 2012 has caused great inefficiency to the operations."

Corey said she has also been concerned about the condition and the health of the current building her office is housed in, and time is important to get to the new location.

As for the building, when it's done, the city will shell out 75 percent of the first floor, keeping it empty to hold down the cost. There will be an elevated walkover built and will connect the third floor to the third floor of the courthouse.

City Council members have been very involved in the courthouse saga, and council President Bill Bishop says a lot more information about what went wrong is still needed.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of financial information that has to be provided," Bishop said. "There is a lot of research that has to be done. We have to find out what happened and when, who did what and how much where we charged. There is a long way to go to close that thing out."

Bishop said he is not about to spend another penny on the project.


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