Bay County officials move forward with phase one of Federal Courthouse project

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Court will soon be back in session.

After a long battle, officials decided the Federal Courthouse will stay here in Bay County and will take over the old Juvenile Justice Courthouse 

At Tuesday’s Bay County Commission meeting, commissioners approved construction for phase one of the project. 

“The contract was to start the demolition of the building, to get the walls out that do not need to be there and to remediate,” said Bay County Public Works Director Keith Bryant, “We had some water damage from the storm so we had to do some remediation.” 

Allstate Construction Incorporated was awarded over eight hundred thousand dollars for this phase. 

“This phase should take about six months,” Bryant said. “We will get everything cleared out and we will be coming before that six months to award the next phase of the project so we can keep this project rolling along.” 

This is just the beginning of the four-phase project. 

“There is the demolition phase which we are moving into now, then what we call the ‘warm lit shell’ which will add 6,000 square feet to the building,” Bryant said. “Then the phase which we call ‘T.I.’ or tenants improvements where we put the walls up that the courts want where they want them and then the last phase will be the security improvements for the building.” 

Bryant says keeping the Federal Courthouse here is crucial and will be an asset to the citizens here in Bay County. 

“If you have federal court duty you won’t have to travel to Tallahassee or Pensacola,” Bryant said. “If you are doing business with the federal government through the courthouse, you won’t have to make the trip and there are several jobs that will stay in our community.”

County leaders hope to have the new Federal Courthouse open within the next 18 months. 

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