DATE:August 21, 2012
Broward Commissioners, city and judicial officials break ground to make way for the new Broward County Courthouse.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Commission
Broward County will soon have a new courthouse that will transform the downtown skyline with a 20-story tower, 77 new court rooms with room to expand, a 500-car secure parking garage and nearly double in size to 741,000 square feet.
“We are making history today and you’re all a part of it,” said Broward Mayor John E. Rodstrom, Jr. “Today, we pave the way for the future. What we have to look forward to, is a modern, sturdy, state of the art, energy efficient and secure county courthouse. It will bring jobs and revitalization to this area of downtown.”
Broward County Commissioners and elected judicial officials ceremoniously broke ground today to officially kick-off construction of the much anticipated new courthouse.
“During my term as mayor of Broward County in 2009, the issue of replacing the old building had been discussed, debated and voted on for years and years. I created the Broward Courthouse Task Force Advisory Board and asked my good friend Commissioner Ilene Lieberman to chair the task force. Through the hard work of Commissioner Lieberman and the vision of many like Senator and now Chief Judge Peter Weinstein, we were able to take a controversial issue, vet it thoroughly and develop a plan to build a new courthouse,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter. “Let’s put the shovel in the ground and create a special place where everyone has their day in court in comfort and in safety.”
The oldest section of the courthouse is about 400,000 square feet and consists of the West and Central wings, which house 38 courtrooms. Consultants have said that all building systems in this area, such as plumbing and electrical, are beyond their useful life. System failures have temporarily closed the courthouse on several occasions.
“We studied the cost of refurbishing the old building or building a new structure. It was less expensive to start anew. This building will be built to meet LEED energy standards, reinforced with concrete and steel to withstand the test of time, an emergency generator, improved security screening and overall a courthouse best suited to serve the needs of visitors and employees without interruption,” said Commissioner Lieberman.
The new courthouse will be constructed where the west judicial parking garage now stands at 201 S.E. Sixth St. in Fort Lauderdale. The courthouse will remain open for business as the old judicial garage is demolished to make way for the 20-story structure. Construction of the project will be completed in phases with the new courthouse and East Wing renovations completed in 2015 and the new parking garage finished in 2017.
Follow the construction of the new courthouse on broward.org/NewCourthouse or Twitter.com/courtnewsflash.
Photo Caption: (pictured from right) Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca; Broward County Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs; Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief; Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter; Broward County Mayor John E. Rodstrom, Jr.; Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman; Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger; Broward County Clerk of the Court Howard Forman; Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler; Chief Judge Peter M. Weinstein, 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler; Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz.