01: Facilities Space Modernization Project

Project Statement:

This project will provide funding for land acquisition, design, construction, and/or equipping of public/governmental use facilities and/or renovations, improvements, additions to, and equipping of existing facilities so as to provide expanded modern space for community, governmental, and judicial functions currently provided at the existing historic Courthouse and annex. Depending upon costs and funding availability, this new space will provide approximately 142,000 square feet of building space for community functions currently provided at the existing historic Courthouse and annex plus space for additional courts; alternative courts; separate holding space for juvenile detainees; separate travel spaces for visitors, inmates, and judicial staff; and other related functions such as determined to be necessary for an effective and modern judicial space.  This project will provide funding for the renovation of the existing historic Courthouse and annex into a facility for governmental operations and/or other uses benefiting the Unified Government and/or community, which may also include child care and/or the use of any unused space for commercial and/or retail use.  Depending upon costs and funding availability, the Facilities Space Modernization Program will further serve as a mechanism to facilitate enhanced employee and/or community well-being initiatives.  Examples of employee and community well-being initiatives could be elder care, child care, or other similar activities.  Additionally, to the extent allowed by law, funds may be used as matching funds for leveraging grant opportunities.

 Potential Sites

Potential sites were evaluated by the SPLOST Site Selection Committee, a resident committee appointed by Mayor Kelly Girtz and chaired by District 1 Commissioner Patrick Davenport, and ranked based on the site selection criteria that was approved by the Mayor and Commission on November 1, 2022. Nine of the highest-scoring sites have been identified as potential sites for the facility. The sites are: 

  • 355 East Hancock Avenue – current location of Robert G. Stephens Federal Building 
  • 132 Cleveland Avenue / 1005 College Avenue – current location of ACCGov-owned CHaRM Facility / old Landfill 
  • 1570 Lexington Road – current location of B&B Theatres Athens 12 
  • 2915, 2665, 2555 Lexington Road – current location of ACCGov-owned properties for Landscape Management, public safety campus, and undeveloped land 
  • 160, 230 Strong Street – current location of surface parking lots managed by the Athens Downtown Parking System 
  • 484 North Avenue – current location of Piggly Wiggly and U-Haul Plaza 
  • 120 W. Dougherty Street – current location of ACCGov Dougherty Street Government Building 
  • 200 Boley Drive – current location of partially developed Athens Amphitheatre 
  • 165 Pulaski Street / 110 Newton Street / 354, 384, 396, 404, 414 West Broad Street – current location of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and undeveloped lots


Public Meetings

Public meetings were held: 

  • Wednesday, May 17:  noon - 2:00 PM, Fire Station 7 (2350 S. Barnett Shoals Road)
  • Wednesday, May 17: 5:00-7:00 PM, Fire Station 2 (265 Cleveland Road)
  • Saturday, May 20: noon - 2:00 PM, Athens-Clarke County Library (2025 Baxter Street) 

The public input opportunities on the Potential Sites has concluded and the results can be found at https://www.accgov.com/DocumentCenter/View/92691/Judicial-Center-Online-Public-Input-Summary?bidId=

Additional Information

This project will provide funding for land acquisition, design, construction, equipping, and other expenses so as to provide expanded, modern space for community, governmental, and judicial functions currently provided at the existing historic Courthouse and annex. 

Depending on costs and funding availability, the new building will provide space for community functions currently provided at the existing historic Courthouse and annex plus space for additional courts; alternative courts; separate holding space for juvenile detainees; separate travel spaces for visitors, inmates, and judicial staff; and other related functions such as determined to be necessary for an effective and modern judicial space. 

After public input on the potential sites, the SPLOST Site Selection Committee will bring the recommended list of candidate sites to the Mayor and Commission for final consideration in fall 2023. Substantial completion of the facility is expected by late 2026. 

The current budgeted construction cost for the facility is $44 million. Changes to the budgeted items are likely depending on the purchase price for the site and the design and construction process. 

For additional questions, contact the SPLOST Program Management Office at 706-613-3025 or splost@accgov.com.

Work Session Presentation: September 15, 2022

Estimated Cost:  
SPLOST 2020 Budget
$77,900,000
Estimated Annual Operating Impact
$315,000