courthouse

A security fence was installed last month in downtown Gallatin ahead of the construction of the new Sumner County Courthouse, which is expected to open sometime in 2023.

Construction of a new Sumner County courthouse in downtown Gallatin is expected to begin later this year, according to officials involved with the project.

As early as this week, demolition work could start on an existing building located on the property at the corner of East Main Street and South Boyers Avenue next to the Gallatin Public Library, added Sumner County Commissioner Leslie Schell, who also serves as chair of the county’s general operations committee.

“It’s exciting to finally see movement going on with the construction of the courthouse,” Schell said. “The county, other than our school system, has never embarked on an endeavor this large, so we wanted to make sure that we took our time and got it right. I have 100 percent confidence that we have done that.”

Once the existing building is removed, crews will spend an estimated three months performing various site work on the property. Without any delays, construction of the new courthouse would begin in late summer and will last for two years.

The five-story, predominantly brick building will feature more than 46,000-square-feet of space and will consolidate all of the county’s courts under one roof once it opens in 2023.

County officials also expect to complete the purchase of property for a planned parking garage nearby within the next 30 days, according to Schell. The property is currently owned by the Gallatin Church of Christ and is located on East Franklin Street directly across from Christian Towers.

“We still have about six months of design work left on (the project),” Schell added. “As soon as they get that done, we’ll move along to construction.”

Gallatin city leaders have previously agreed verbally to partner with Sumner County to bring additional parking to the area. While the multi-level structure is expected to have approximately 370 spaces, specific details about the project and the partnership have not yet been finalized.

In 2017, Sumner County commissioners voted to hire Justice Planning Associates to review the county’s criminal justice and court facilities following several emergency funding requests for building repair projects.

Following the study, the firm recommended building a new courthouse, expanding the jail along with the sheriff’s office and renovating the existing courthouse in downtown Gallatin.

County leaders later voted to issue up to $103.6 million in general obligation school and public improvements bonds in December of 2019. Of that money, $86.75 million would be used to fund the design, construction and equipping of the new courthouse and nearby parking garage.

According to Schell, the parking garage is expected to take between nine months and one year to construct and would open sometime before the new courthouse was completed.

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