RUSSELL — Russell County commissioners this morning were making a final walk-through of the $3.5 million, 16,000-square-feet addition to the courthouse.
If everything checks out, contractors soon will be handing off the new addition, allowing for county offices to start making the move from the courthouse into the new addition.
The move could begin as early as the end of next week, according to Russell County Administrator John Fletcher, who also serves as the county sheriff.
A grand opening to let residents take a look inside the facility is set for 1 p.m. Oct. 19.
Fletcher said the building should end up costing $3.5 million, all of it money that has been socked away by commissioners to forgo the need to borrow money.
“I’m hoping we’ll come in about $10,000 under budget,” Fletcher said of the project.
The new occupants will include the county’s judicial system, essentially everything from the third floor of the courthouse — county attorney, courtroom and district court.
The third floor then will be closed off and used for storage.
“We’re going to turn the heat off up there,” Fletcher said.
The treasurer and clerk’s offices also will be making the move into the new facility.
Commission chambers will remain where they are, but they have been expanded from the small room they long have occupied.
Fletcher said commissioners have paid for the project in cash, and didn’t have to turn to any new taxes.
Instead, the county long ago imposed a half-cent sales tax for economic development.
Money from the tax collections was used to pay for economic development as well as some of it going to cities in the county.
A slice of the income, however, was set aside into a capital outlay fund — for the eventual construction of an addition.
Limestone used on the front of the new addition is a virtual match to that used to build the courthouse.
Fletcher said he looked a wealth of rock samples, including limestone from Lucas and Riley.
The county finally settled on limestone provided from Lucas, which quarries its rock from an area north of Lake Wilson.