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Back to the Old Courthouse, at what cost?

10:10 PM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "The honest answer is we don't know," said Jacksonville Deputy Chief Administration Officer Karen Bowling.

Bowling says the city doesn't know when the new courthouse will be up and running, so they're moving back to old courthouse effective immediately.

"We looked at a lot of options, and while we recognize that this may not be a great option, it's the best option at this time as agreed to by the all the parties," she said.

Bowling says court will be in session Monday, when they'll resume jury trials and hearings at the old location.

But three weeks after this whole move started, the question remains: How did we get here in the first place?

"There's some things we know, and then things we need to find out. There are some things we have an understanding of. So yes indeed we had a building official signed a stock and train, which allowed them to stock the building, and do the training in the building, so that was just based on information he got, that he believed there was a good chance, a positive chance the system would pass," she said.

But it didn't, and it hasn't.

The smoke detection system has been tested 10 times at the new courthouse, and failed every single time.

The City's General Counsel has now launched an investigation in to who gave the final go ahead to move to the new building without the final testing.

But since the city signed off on the move, the city is on the hook for paying to move everything back.

They don't know how much that process will cost yet.

"Our goal is to be able to open a safe courthouse, and that's why we're leaving as much in the new courthouse as possible, so that when it does happen, then this next move is a lot easier," she said.

The City is looking in to renting some furniture, or using old furniture in the interim so they don't have to move everything back from the new courthouse. That process will begin immediately.

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