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Judicial center ceremony to be held March 11

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Public invited to groundbreaking event

By Molly Haines

The new Owen County judicial center has taken another step toward ground-breaking.

Bids for the new judicial center were opened Thursday, and a bid for “general trades” was awarded to Hawkins Construction for $2.8 million.

Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith said she was told by the project manager that once the bids were totaled, they came in under budget.

Ground-breaking for the new judicial center was expected to take place in September 2009, but was postponed due to architectural changes.

Early last year, the Court Facilities Standards Committee – the state board that oversees the construction of courthouses – directed the county to remove several hundred square feet from the design to bring it in line with other similar projects across the country.

Todd Ott of CMW Inc., the architectural firm in Lexington that designed the new courthouse, removed an entire floor from the plans but still left space for a proposed family courtroom.

Ground-breaking for the new judicial center, which will be located on the Ford family property on Hwy. 22, is now set for 3 p.m. March 11.

Keith said the public is invited.

The Kentucky General Assembly authorized building a new judicial center in 2006 and approved its funding in 2008. The total budget for the project is $11.47 million.