County Courthouse update: first phase complete
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.”

One hot hobby
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.

Duval County’s fifth courthouse
The first courthouse in Duval County was built in the 1840s at the corner of Forsyth and Market streets and was burned to the ground during the Civil War. It was replaced in 1886 by a brick structure that was razed in the Great Fire of 1901. The next year, a stone structure was erected on the site and in 1914 an annex was added behind the building.

The County Courthouse on Bay Street was dedicated in 1958 and will be vacated when the new courthouse opens for business in 2012.

Friday, Oct. 9

Hemming Plaza Market

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info: 634-0303

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Coffee Classics: German Fusion

11 a.m. T-U Center Tickets: 354-5547

Member’s Party and Annual Meeting

6 p.m. Museum of Science & History Info: 396-MOSH

Sesame Street Live: “When Elmo Grows Up”

7 p.m. T-U Center Tickets: 630-3900

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

Friday Fusion: German Fusion 7:30 p.m. T-U Center Tickets: 354-5547

Saturday, Oct. 10

“Animal Grossology”

Opening day. Museum of Science & History Info: 396-MOSH

Sesame Street Live: “When Elmo Grows Up”

10:30 a.m. T-U Center Tickets: 630-3900

Artsy Bras for a Cause

6 p.m. The Art Center Info: 355-1747

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

“The Music of Eric Clapton” 8 p.m. T-U Center Tickets: 354-5547

8th Annual Black Expo

All day Osborn Center Tickets: www.blackexpousa.com

Sunday, Oct. 11

Family Free Day @ MOCA

Noon-4 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art Info: 366-6911

Sesame Street Live: “When Elmo Grows Up”

1 p.m. T-U Center Tickets: 630-3900

Before Motherwell: Masters of Printmaking with Scott Brown

2 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art Info: 366-6911

Monday, Oct. 12

Keith Garrett: Year of the River

9 a.m. Main Library 2nd floor exhibit space Info: 630-2665

tuesday, Oct. 13

Jacksonville’s First City Planner: George W. Simons Jr.

7 p.m. Jacksonville Historical Society Info: 665-0064

Figure Drawing

7 p.m. The Art Center Info: 355-1757

The Australian Pink Floyd Show

8 p.m. The Florida Theatre Tickets: 355-2787

wednesday, Oct. 14

Jigsaw Jones: “The Class of the Class Clown”

10 a.m. and noon. The Florida Theatre Tickets: 355-2787

thursday, Oct. 15

Southern Women’s Show

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Osborn Center Tickets: www.jaxevents.com

UNF Art & Design Faculty Lecture Series

6:30 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art Info: 366-6911

Florida Forum presents T. Boone Pickens

7 p.m. Florida Theatre Tickets: 202-2886

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: “Pathetique”

7:30 p.m. T-U Center Jacoby Concert Hall Tickets: 354-5547

Brad Paisley

7:30 p.m. The Arena Tickets: 630-3900

MOCA Film Series: “Gogol Bordello Non Stop”

8:30 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art Tickets: 366-6911

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