JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Monday marked the beginning of the final step in a long process to build a new courthouse in Cape Girardeau County.
Dozens of community leaders from Cape and Jackson did a ground breaking ceremony for the new courthouse at the corner of North Missouri Street and West Washington Street.
“You don’t get credit for things you start. You get credit for things that you finish,” said Cape County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy. “I was just reflecting on the seven years we are basically putting this plan into action. Although we’re not finished we’ve definitely come a great distance.”
The three story justice center will be adjacent to the County Sheriffs Office and will have multiple elevators, six court rooms and plenty of office space.
Tracy says having everything under one roof makes things easy for staff and the public.
“We are currently operating out of the Common Pleas court in Cape, and then we’ve got the criminal court here in Jackson. So we’ve got judges and the clerks spread between two courthouses," Tracy said. "To be able to consolidate. To make our court safer, more accessible for the public its going to be a great thing for this community and for this county and so we’re excited to take on such a huge endeavor.”
Penzel Construction and Treanor HL Architects designed the new facility to look similar to the old Jackson courthouse but with the latest and greatest technology.
“There will be a huge difference between what you experience in the old courthouse compared to what this new one is going to be like,” said CEO Phil Penzel.
Having lived in Cape Girardeau County his whole life, Penzel says he is honored to have been chosen for this high-profile municipal project. He says workers have been able to get a jump start on the project because of the nice weather.
“It’s a tough schedule. We’ve got to have this completed in 18 months and you’ve got to start working when you can," Penzel said. "Currently we’re moving this dirt so we can build a new parking lot for the sheriff’s department.”
The overall cost for the new courthouse is about $20 million and it’s expected to be complete by April of 2020.