Groundbreaking for new courthouse set for Sept. 14

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By Jenny Arnold

A groundbreaking ceremony for the county’s new courthouse is slated for Sept. 14.

Before the old courthouse burned, County Council was considering building a court facility that would house the solicitor, public defender, family court and other agencies, such as the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and the local office of the S.C. Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

The historic courthouse was still being used a working court facility before the fire.

But after the blaze, county officials saw a greater need than ever to replace the outdated 1828 courthouse.

Council decided to build a new facility and give voters the chance to decide how it would be paid – with a penny sales tax or through regular property taxes.

In November, voters approved a 1-cent sales tax that will pay for the new courthouse, which will be built next to the old one at the corner of Main and Meeting streets.

The new courthouse, which will have three floors, has an estimated cost of $33 million.

Perception Builders is serving as a consultant for the project.

Owner Chad Catledge said work around the new courthouse site may begin before Sept. 14, with the old gas stations on both corners being torn down.

BE&K Building Group of Charlotte will construct the new courthouse.

County officials have talked about turning the old courthouse, once restoration is complete, into a museum or welcome center for the county, but a final decision has not been made.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at jarnold@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151