By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Hartsville’s new Justice Center was on display Monday evening for members of the County Buildings Committee, which met in the new facility.

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Justice Center was renovated from the remaining portion of the old Co-op building on Main Street.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
County Mayor Carroll Carman leads a tour of the county’s new Justice Center, which is near completion.

During the meeting, County Mayor Carroll Carman gave those in attendance a tour of the building, which features two courtrooms, new offices for judges and clerks and prisoner holding areas.

Carman also submitted a request to commissioners for $90,000 for costs that exceeded the original budget, including change orders and some work still remaining. The committee voted its approval for the request, which will next go to the Budget & Finance Committee, which meets on Monday, Nov. 20.

If approved by the entire Commission, the money would come from remaining funds in the county’s Capital Projects Fund and would not require a draw from fund balance.

“I am, overall, very pleased with the work that’s taken place here,” the mayor said. “When you enter into an old building like this, you run into problems that no one would have thought about. In the final analysis, this represents about 1.7 percent of the total project.”

The County Commission originally approved funding of $1.76 million for the Justice Center, and the winning bid from Beasley Construction came in at just over $1.8 million. Including the $90,000 request, Carman presented a final estimate of just over $2 million for the project.

The mayor cited a need to add an area for prisoner transfer, which added roughly 1,700 square feet to the building, as part of the reason for the extra cost. Carman also noted that engineering fees, which totaled around $160,000, were not part of the original estimate.

Other extra items not on the original plans were outside lighting and a guardrail for the sidewalk on the back of the building that overlooks Little Goose Creek.

“I don’t think it’s a problem,” said committee chairman John Oliver. “I think we’ve done well here and our overrun is very little.”

Carman said he anticipated moving the courtroom personnel to the Justice Center sometime after the first of the year.

“I have some (things) to work through, and we’ll deal with the rumbles as they come,” Carman said.

An open house for the community is also planned, but no date has been determined as of yet.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.