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A step forward on courthouse

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By Chris Sardelli

Lancaster County Council held a special meeting Monday night to get an update on construction of the new courthouse.

Chad Catledge of Lancaster’s Perception Builders and project architect Ashby Gressette of Stevenson Wilkinson discussed the plans. This included updates about the budget, design work and floor plans.

Catledge is serving as a consultant for the county on the project and will oversee construction. Gressette and other architects are working closely with the contractor,  BE&K Building Group of Charlotte, to coordinate efforts and eliminate costly changes to the building plans later on.

The preliminary budget for the project, which totals $33.5 million, was also discussed at the meeting. The current budget includes $10.7 million allocated for interior work, $2.8 million for architecture services and $2.7 million for a parking facility.

Council vice-chairman Rudy Carter said the meeting helped council members understand how the project was progressing.

“It was a brief update, but it gave us a good idea of where they were, what the construction timeline is and some of the budget items,” Carter said.

There were also several courthouse users on hand to discuss how they have been involved in the design and planning for their spaces in the building, including Probate Judge Sandy Estridge and Clerk of Court Jeff Hammond.

Council made a formal motion to approve the design work thus far and for the design team to move to the detail plan development stage, which is the blueprint stage. Council approved the motion with a vote of 6-0. Councilwoman Kathy Sistare was absent.

City of Light discussion

In other business, council met in closed session with three representatives from Inspiration Networks’ City of Light.

“We achieved a dialogue,” Carter said. “And we will keep up to know when things are going on.” There was no request to amend the City of Light’s development agreement, which would extend construction dates for some planned buildings on the campus on U.S. 521 in Indian Land.

County Administrator Steve Willis said if a request is submitted soon from Inspiration Networks, it will be added as a discussion item for council’s next meeting.

• Council also approved a resolution endorsing being an active partner in the 2010 Census.

• Council unanimously approved moving its June 29 meeting to June 22.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416