In June 5-11 issue
By Greg Wells
Times Journal Managing EditorABOVE: Architect proposal for new Russell County Judicial Center, to be built in Jamestown.
JAMESTOWN - Proposals for the new Russell County Judicial Center were presented to the members of the board this week.
The architects will be discussing the plans individually with the other judges this week before being decided on next Monday in order to be presented in Frankfort later this month.
The new building will be built with bonds authorized by the legislature and paid for by the rent paid by Kentucky's court administration system.
It will be occupied by the four different courts that serve the county: circuit court, district court, family court and the drug court. The other occupant will be the circuit clerk and his officers.
That administrative branch of the courts, known as the Administrative Office of the Court, has final say on the location and construction of the new judicial center.
It is to that office that the plans must be submitted by June 23.
Because of that the local board charged with finding a location, design, funding and construction contractor for the project, known as the Russell County Property Development Board, will meet again in a special called meeting Monday June 9th at 11 a.m. in the Jamestown Café.
This meeting will be to consider the space allocation and the overall square footage of the new building as well as the broad strokes of the design before it is presented for approval.
"We know construction costs are going to be higher than what was budgeted when this project was approved," said Vance Mitchell the AOC's representative on the board. "They are expecting that given what has happened to the cost of construction materials in the last two years. The main thing is that we can not exceed the square footage that was approved for the building."
He said the county was seeing profits from the interest earned on money from the bonds that have already been sold and is being held on deposit. That money will likely off-set some of the additional construction costs he said.
Sean Matthews, one of the architects on the project presented their vision of the building layout, its appearance and where it will sit.
When asked what the square footage of the building was he said it was 34,100 square feet.
"That's 400 too many," Mitchell said. "Can we take a one-foot slice out of the building somewhere so it will be within the 33,700 square feet that was approved."
After deciding that this was something that could be done, the proceeded to the analysis of the location, which will cover all of Pike Alley behind the present Town Hall, as well as taking that building.
The new building would a three-story structure of brick, cast stone and glass.
As proposed it will be the dominate structure on the square and it, along with the grounds and parking will extend all the way from Cumberland Avenue to the Yoga studio just before Shelby Street.
Pike and Montgomery Alleys will be closed, Judge-Executive Mickey Garner said.
Mathews said there is a gas line and other buried utilities that will have to be moved to accommodate the building as well as power lines that will have to be moved.
Before any of that can happen the location and the plans will have to be approved in Frankfort, and before that can happen they will have to be decided on in Jamestown.
In other business at the Monday night meeting the bills incurred so far by the project were approved.
The addition of the Duo County property to that which will be surveyed was approved.
There were other critiques to the design.
Judge Vernon Miniard pointed out that the roof of the new Wayne County Courthouse was leaking and he strongly objected to this building having a flat roof.
The architect and the construction manager, Steve Branscum, said the cost of a peaked roof would be prohibitive and would seriously detract from the looks of the building.
That will be addressed further at the Monday meeting.
Another drawn option for the design was cast out resoundingly at this week's meeting.
"Whoever drew that you need to fire him," Mitchell said.