Gwinnett County commissioners have approved a contract with highest-scoring firm Gilbane Building Company to build an addition to the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center and a new parking deck. The voter-approved 2009 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax(SPLOST) program is funding the bulk of the $75 million project with the remainder coming from the capital project fund.
“As our population approaches 1 million people, demand on the Gwinnett County court system continues to grow. Additional courtrooms and associated facilities are needed to serve jurors, victims, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, witnesses and others who visit the courts. I am thankful to all of the voters who recognized the need for additional court facilities and approved SPLOST to fund the expansion,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash.
The new 180,000-square-foot building will consist of four stories and a lower level and will house courtrooms, a jury assembly room and holding cells. A security clearance lobby will connect the new building and an adjacent 1,500-space parking structure. The three new structures will be located in the space occupied by the current parking structure. The new building will also connect to the existing Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.
“On behalf of the judiciary, we are excited and grateful that this project is finally underway,” Chief Superior Court Judge Melodie Snell Conner said. “Over the last several years, the Court system and related agencies have completely outgrown the current courthouse. This much needed and anticipated expansion will greatly enable us to better serve the citizens of Gwinnett and ensure that all litigation in the Gwinnett Courts is handled as expeditiously and safely as possible.”
Gwinnett County is using a construction manager at risk approach, a project delivery method that entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price based on construction documents and specifications at the time of award, plus any reasonably inferred items or tasks. This approach also allows for more flexibility in phasing the work to accommodate uninterrupted operations of the building.
The Gilbane team has built 59 courthouses in the past 10 years, including 16 in Georgia and more than 50 parking decks in the past 5 years.