LIVE VIDEO: WTLV Live Video_1    Watch

Courthouse Holdup

9:54 AM, Jun 1, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Another delay could be on the horizon for the new Courthouse in Jacksonville.

"How in the heck did we get to this spot? That's really a very frustrating issue," said Councilman Bill Bishop.

Bishop says the new courthouse project is completely out of control.

MORE: Councilman Bishop: New courthouse may not open for another month

"Who the heck is doing their job over there on this thing," he said.

Tests of the fire detection system in the 800-thousand square foot building have continually failed.

A test scheduled for Thursday was pushed back to Saturday...

and if that test fails, the city could be looking at another MONTH without an operational courthouse.

"The frustrating part is that I'm sitting here telling you all of this, when someone from the administration should be telling you all of this. Because they should have more information about this than I do," he said.

In a phone interview, Fire Chief Martin Senterfitt says he and the administration are cautiously optimistic the new courthouse will open Monday morning.

He says the fire department, four judges, the mayor's administration, and a dozen engineers came together for a 6 hour meeting Thursday to try and figure out how to make this work.

While he says all parties at the meeting were on the same page, Councilman Bishop still questions how the city got here in the first place.

"It's very frustrating to be in this position. How could a decision be made to shut down a building of that importance without knowing the thing is going to work," he said.

The old courthouse was entirely packed up May 18th.

Delayed for just a week, judges and clerks were scrambling to get their jobs done in makeshift offices around the city.

State Attorney Angela Corey said Tuesday a delay of a just a few days is unacceptable.

"The city needs to figure this out immediately," she said.

So nevermind the possibility of a month without a function courthouse in the city.

"Court can't be down that long, it's gotta operate! WE have to put the judges somewhere so they can conduct business. where that is and how that would work, I don't know! You have to talk to the administration on that," said Bishop.

For now, city officials say they have their fingers crossed the building will pass the 15 hour test Saturday required for the building to open.




First Coast News

Most Watched Videos