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Does the county really need to spend the money for a brand new building, or can we just refurbish the existing building and get the same result?

If we don’t move forward with building a new courthouse, which would cost about $182 million and take four years to build, the alternative is to spend an estimated $216 million (based on a 2009 study, which includes projected inflation) on a 13-year renovation project. One reason it would cost so much and take so long is because we’d be doing construction on an occupied building; it would have to be done in phases so the court system could continue to operate in that building while construction is going on. One of the big drawbacks to that alternative is that it doesn’t set us up well for future generations, as would the option to construct a brand new building. Another deficit of this option is that it would not solve many of the concerns of the current courthouse which include making the entire facility fully accessible and ADA compliant, reconfiguration of the building’s layout which currently requires the public and inmates to use the same hallway space or reconfiguration of the small courtrooms where jurors and defendants are in close proximity, improvements to technology which would require completely gutting parts of the facility, and concerns with the current courthouse being located so close to the street, which is a considerable security vulnerability.