- 2014 - February - 11th -
The former federal courthouse will be ready by Dec. 7 for occupancy by the State Attorney’s Office.

County courthouse should stay at budget; State Attorney’s Office can move into federal building by Dec. 7

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

After years of increasing budgets, it looks like the Duval County Courthouse will come in at, and maybe even under, the $350 million budget.

Public Works Director Jim Robinson said Tuesday the city and Turner Construction Co. will reach a settlement on the final invoice for the project within four weeks.

The budget cap of $350 million adopted in 2007 is “safe,” Robinson told the City Council Courthouse Oversight Special Committee.

By reaching the agreement, the city and Turner will avoid litigation over the final price for the project.

“I expect an amicable closure,” Robinson said.

Asked by council member Don Redman if the subcontractors on the project had been paid in full, Robinson said there is a small group of companies that have not received full payment.

Turner is in dispute with those companies over the quality of their workmanship resulting in some of the final payments being withheld, pending the final amount of the invoice and city settlement.

Potential litigation has caused Turner to hold back final payments to a “short list” of subcontractors, said Robinson. “Any nonpayment over a long duration is for good reason,” he said.

“This has been 14 years in the making and we’ve had three years of oversight through furniture, fire systems and bridges and we are, God willing, on budget,” said Greg Anderson, committee chairman.

Dennis Ramm, project manager for Morganti Group Inc., the general contractor for the renovation of the former federal courthouse, said the project is also on schedule and budget. The State Attorney’s Office will be able to move into the building on or before Dec. 7, he said.

Sealing and waterproofing the structure is complete and interior wall construction is progressing, said Tom Goldsbury, Building Inspection Division chief.

When Anderson questioned the small amount in the renovation budget for contingencies — less than $10,000 of the $31 million budget — Robinson said the project is “in a bit of a safety zone” based on how much of the work already has been completed.

“Unforeseen issues would have been seen by now,” he said.


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