JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After 12 years marred by numerous delays and cost overruns, the doors to Duval County's newest landmark open Monday.
"We had a few bumps in the road but I think it all turned out real well,” said Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller.
After moving not once, but twice, Fuller admits it's been an exhausting process. But he remains optimistic. However, some court employees are skeptical.
"I've been here several times trying to find my way around and I can only imagine someone coming here for the first time,” Head of Purchasing Greg Solomon.
Attorney Richard Kuritz agrees. "It’s confusing for the lawyers and judges right now."
Kuritz is defending Andrew King it what will mark one of the first murder trails in the new courthouse. King is accused of killing mother of three, Felicia Burney, and her unborn child. Kuritz scoped out the new surroundings before he steps in the courtroom.
"What I did was go through an figure out how it's going to be set up because the set up is much different than what we're used to. So it's going to be a process,” said Kuritz.
At nearly 800,000-square-feet, the new courthouse is twice as big as the old one back on Bay Street. The first floor is where you'll find official record keeping, county and circuit civil cases and misdemeanors. Jury assembly is on the second floor. Floors three through six are courtrooms and hearing rooms are on the seventh floor. Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller says extra staff will be on hand to help people find their destination. You'll also find information kiosks inside to help guide you.
"Don't be intimidated by the size of it or wonder where things are. We'll have people there to help you and direct you to the place where you need to go,” said Fuller.