County approves to part with historic courthouse and jail

Washington County Courthouse
Cathrine Lamb
Published: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 06:28 PM.

CHIPLEY — Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved to seek funds to construct a new 30,000 square foot courthouse facility at the current location at an estimated cost of $8,811,515 during their meeting on Jan. 23.

The decision had to be made after extensive tests concluded that there was severe damage to the courthouse base structure as well positive readings for black mold, leaving the courthouse deemed unsafe for occupancy.

After much deliberation about if the current courthouse should be renovated or if it should be rebuilt the Board agreed on rebuilding.

The new facility is to provide space for the Clerk of Court and two courtrooms with associated Judges’ Chambers, jury deliberation rooms, Public Defender and State Attorney with 12,000 square feet per courtroom and 6,000 square feet for the Clerk of Court.

Costs were broke down as such: $250,000 for demolition of old jail and existing courthouse, $7,500,000 for construction of a new courthouse facility of 30,000 square feet at $250 per square foot, $360,000 for site development, $202,750 for contingency and $498,765 for planning for a total of $8,811,515.

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