Quite a lot has been accomplished in the first five months of the 36-month project to construct the new County Courthouse. All the activity that’s been taking place at the job site has resulted in the first phase of the project, building the foundation, being completed.
Dave Schneider, Better Jacksonville Plan project manager, said 1,680 concrete foundation pilings 55 feet deep and as large as 18 inches around each are in place. The foundation will support the seven-story, 800,000 square-foot structure. Workers are now pouring concrete to construct the second-floor deck slabs and soon walls and elevator shafts will be built.
If you’ve been wondering why the center section is going up first, Schneider said it’s because that section accounts for the largest section of the building and it’s also where the main systems like elevators and trunks for electrical, plumbing and communications services will be installed. It will also lead to all three sections – left, center and right – being completed at the same time.
“The center section is about two-thirds of the structure. We needed a head start on that section because we want to have the exterior of all three sections finished next May,” said Schneider.
The third floor will be under construction in November and the fourth floor will be taking shape in December. Schneider said the structure will be the focus of work for the next eight months, then interior work will begin including plumbing, electrical, floor coverings and painting. That will mean a lot more workers on the job site.
“Right now there are about 175 people working on the courthouse each day,” said Schneider. “In late 2010 that number will peak at about 1,000 people when we get inside the building.”
He also said the budget for painting the interior of the building is $1.9 million, “And most of that is labor.”
Juggler David Ferman, 15, is one of the many entertainers who perform at the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) on Saturdays. The Mandarin resident has traveled across the country competing in juggling competitions and has taken top honors in “joggling” competitions, which involve juggling several balls while running. Ferman picked up the hobby when he was eight years old.
He won’t be the only entertainment at RAM Saturday. The market was one of 13 chosen in the U.S. for the Toyota “Farm to Table Tour,” which highlights farmers’ markets across the country to show the benefits that locally grown products provide the community. Vendors will be matched with 12 area chefs who will create a meal from the food sold by the vendor. The chefs will be serving up their creations from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the market under the Fuller Warren Bridge on Riverside Avenue.