New judicial center, library remain on schedule

Augusta's new judicial center continues on schedule, officials say.

"They're pouring the fourth floor now on that center section," said Rick Acree, Augusta's assistant director of facilities management. "Things are going real well."

The $67 million center, between 10th Street and James Brown Boulevard, was designed to have 15 courtrooms and hearing rooms and space for the district attorney's and solicitor's offices. It will be roughly 180,000 square feet when finished, Mr. Acree said. Construction is "on or ahead of schedule" for completion by the first quarter of 2011, he said.

The center will have a two-story portion and a section with four stories.

"That's kind of the critical path ... to get that part done," Mr. Acree said of the four-story section.

Ground was broken for the center at the end of last year.

Augusta is tackling two other major projects downtown: a new library near Telfair Street and James Brown Boulevard and expansion work at the Phinizy Road jail.

Those projects also are on schedule, Mr. Acree said. The new library, which will be more than double the size of the old facility at 95,000 square feet, is to be done in June.

Gary Swint, the director of the East Central Georgia Regional Libraries, said much of the exterior work is complete and interior details are being addressed.

A steel structure for the library began around February.

Mr. Swint said there was talk of using the old library for sheriff's office space or court records. He said some private individuals have also expressed interest in the building. None of those possibilities panned out.

Mr. Swint said officials are also trying to have the state deed over property now occupied by the library's audiovisual center. The goal would be to have that area turned into about 40 parking spaces.

The new library includes a parking lot with 61 spaces, he said.

The Charles B. Webster Detention Center on Phinizy Road is scheduled to open in 2010.

Reach Preston Sparks at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

TOP THREE AUGUSTA PROJECTS

ProjectBudgetProjected completion Judicial Center$67 millionOn schedule for early 2011 New Augusta library$24 millionOn schedule for June Phinizy Road jail expansion$36 millionOn schedule for 2010