A second Family Court courtroom is expected to be completed by fall, officials say. The project will allow for more Family Court proceedings to be held on a more efficient timeline, and construction on the new courtroom is expected to reach completion by mid-October.
Supervisor of the Daviess County Building and Grounds Department Joe Paul Bickett said construction should be completed by Oct. 15, but recording equipment will need to be installed that could push the opening to later in the month. The new Family Court courtroom will be a mirror image of the existing Family Court courtroom, Bickett said.
As of now, two Family Court judges are using one courtroom for hearings and other proceedings. With an ever-increasing number of local Family Court cases being added to the dockets, County officials have been pushing for a second Family Court courtroom for some time now.
The new Family Court courtroom will be located directly across from the family new waiting area that opened last week, which was renovated to create a more welcoming and kid-friendly space for the over 700 children aged 0-18 years old who are involved in substantiated abuse and neglect cases each year in Daviess County.
Daviess County Fiscal Court okayed the second courtroom in early February. Lanham Brothers General Construction, who bid $603,290, were approved to renovate the old library on the third floor of the Morton J. Holbrook Judicial Center.
Daviess County Fiscal Court will be reimbursed for the project later this year by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
According to Lanham Brothers’ bid report, the date of substantial completion must occur 166 days, or about five and-a-half months, from the notice to proceed. The date of final completion is 196 days from the notice to the proceed, which Bickett said the project is well within.