It's a project that's been five years in the making - a new judicial center for Whitley County! The old courthouse offered little security and cramped courtrooms.
The new facility is part of an effort by the state to modernize judicial centers across the Commonwealth.
Judges, attorneys, and everyday citizens attended the dedication of the new building Wednesday.
"We're awfully proud of our new Whitley County Judicial Center," said Gary Barton, Whitley County Circuit Clerk.
The new center is almost 60,000 square feet and has four courtrooms.
"With this facility each judge has their own courtroom to work out of. It will be a big asset to us," said Barton.
The legislature approved the funding for the building. It cost more than $17 million. That bill was financed by the Administrative Office of the Courts, with security a top priority.
"It'll be safer for our jurors, safer for our litigants, safer for our attorneys, and safer for our court staff and judges," said Pat White, Whitley County Judge-Executive.
White said there are added benefits to having the new judicial center. It enhances the curb appeal of downtown Williamsburg and adds a number of parking spaces to the area.
Officials said this is a day they are glad to see here, especially since the final product came in at nearly one million dollars less than expected.
"We came in under budget, and we've been right on time with our schedule," said Barton.
The only offices that will be in the new building are those affiliated with the judicial system. All the other county offices will remain across the street at the county courthouse.
At the dedication, officials said a plaque will be placed in the new judicial center in memory of Judge Paul Braden, who died earlier in the year.
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