In a matter of months, we could see the first renderings of the Bay County Courthouse's new addition. Commissioners are getting ready to approve the architect for the project; it's anticipated to cost $13.5 million.
The Bay County Courthouse built in 1914 is one of the only few original courthouses in Florida still being used for its primary purpose, but after more than a hundred years courthouse officials say it needs renovating.
The plans include a new two story structure, complete with a parking garage and new technology and at the negotiating table are Collin's & Associates; they were ranked as the best firm for the job.
Commissioner George Gainer says the design phase will last about six months and then it's off to work. "We want to incorporate all the security and the space needs that the judges and steering committee has come up with and required and that the master plan required when we got this started. We want to make sure that those things are all included on the inside, but that we keep the aesthetics."
Chairman Gainer says when the project is all said and done, the courthouse staff will be able to process cases faster, which has the potential to relieve the county's jail population.
The county commission is expected to meet Tuesday to approve the pending contract with the architect. To view the commission's December 4th meeting agenda, click here.