Okaloosa County Courthouse construction still on schedule

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By Heather Osbourne | news@crestviewbulletin.com

CRESTVIEW — The new Okaloosa County Courthouse is taking shape with just six months of construction left for the final product.

County Public Works Director Jason Autrey said almost all the windows have been installed and a permanent roof will replace the temporary one in the coming weeks.

“They’re also installing all of the electrical and plumbing,” Autrey said. “They are beginning to install the drywall and the interior offices are starting to take shape.”

Outiside the building, crews are beginning to lay bricks and install the stormwater system.

Faced with mold, asbestos and increasing maintenance costs, county commissioners agreed in October 2015 to raze the old courthouse, which was built in 1955. It was closed in April 2016 and was demolished in January to make room for a new building at 601 James Lee Blvd. 

A groundbreaking was held soon after and the new courthouse is expected to be finished in July. 

The new building initially was estimated to cost $23 million. That compares to the $400,000 spent on its predecessor and $29,000 spent on the original courthouse built in 1918.

Autrey said the current contract is about $21 million.

Commissioners have been holding their north end meetings at Crestview City Hall while construction is underway. Court proceedings are being held at the county Courthouse Annex Extension in Fort Walton Beach until construction is complete.

“It’s moving right along and it’s going to be a beautiful feature in downtown Crestview,” Autrey said of the new courthouse. “It’ll last for at least another 50 years.”

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