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Local officials tour new courthouse

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Nash County Manager Zee Lamb, right, shows Nash County Commissioner Fred Belfield a Superior courtroom Monday during a tour of the new Nash County Courthouse in Nashville.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NASHVILLE — After years of planning and 18 months of construction, the new Nash County Courthouse is just weeks away from being open for business.

Safety and security for court officials and the public were the top priority in construction of the facility, according to county officials who received a tour of the building Tuesday afternoon.

Security in the new building includes X-ray machines, metal detectors and bullet-resistant glass for clerks.

Judges will have a private, secured parking area.

“There's a lot going on in this building, a lot tucked away,” said Mike Tolson, the county's public facilities and utilities director.

The new building — housing two Superior courtrooms and two District courtrooms — has holding cells on each level and an underground tunnel connecting the Nash County Detention Center to the courthouse, which will allow safer transfer of inmates away from the public, said County Manager Zee Lamb.

“Inmates used to walk side-by-side in the hallways with judges and the public,” Lamb said. “Now the only time inmates will be in public will be in the courtrooms.”

Lamb, an attorney, said lawyers weren't always consulted when it came to new courthouses, but designers asked the local bar what they'd like to see in the new courthouse. The answer was more conference rooms, which were included.

Goldsboro-based Daniels and Daniels Construction will soon start work to refurbish the old courthouse now that the new building is nearing completion. Daniels and Daniels was rated the highest contractor by the county's building committee and turned in the lowest bid.

The construction budget is $12 million with a bid of $11.6 million. The project adds 38,000 square feet and 12,560 square feet of renovated space. Superior Court, District Court and the District Attorney's Office will move into the new building and Clerk of Court and the Sheriff's Office will take over expanded space in the old building once it's completed.

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