JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Broken glass and doors boarded shut, that's the state of the Old Federal Courthouse. And it's the future home of the State Attorney's office. The eye sore is nestled between two downtown beauties; the new Duval County courthouse and the new Federal Courthouse. The old Federal Courthouse is being renovated for county prosecutors. But Action News has learned, construction on the $19 million project stopped, leaving Angela Corey and her team in limbo.
"I have not in any way abandoned my intent to push the completion of the old Federal Courthouse. As you can see, it's right next door and it's ideal for us who have to be in court everyday, all day," said Corey.
County prosecutors are still primarily working out of the old courthouse annex off Bay Street. Now, they are forced to travel about nine blocks everyday to get to court at the new courthouse. That's about a 10 minute walk through downtown. "Being a mile away is neither adequate nor is it very secure."
The State Attorney's office told Action News that for some reason the city terminated its contract with the construction company. Action News reached out to the city and asked who is responsible for the delay and why it terminated the contract to do the renovations. Late Tuesday, they sent us a statement stating "The City put the restoration of the Old Federal Courthouse out to competitive bidding because it believed that doing so would result in better value for taxpayers. The design should be completed in August 2012 and construction should begin in November."
For now, Corey's staff is working part time in a temporary space in the new courthouse. She says the efficiency of her office is effected as this downtown building sits dilapidated. "We want to be next door. We want to work and we want to work hard. The only way to really accomplish that kind of efficient running of our office is to get that building done and move in," said Corey.