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It’s a project that has been in the works for several years now, and finally, the new Washington County Judicial Center is open for business.
The center was officially opened a few weeks ago, but a celebration of the new facility was held Friday with state and local dignitaries, including Chief Justice of Kentucky’s Supreme Court, John D. Minton Jr.
“It is a privilege to celebrate with the people of Washington County as they dedicate this outstanding new judicial center,” Minton said. “Since the early days of the commonwealth, Kentucky courthouses have held a special place as the center of our communities.”
Minton and other officials spoke, thanking those who gave their time to serve on boards and committees as the building was being planned.
The judicial center is approximately 53,000 square feet, and is home to the circuit court clerk, as well as circuit and district court. The building is the property of Washington County, but is only occupied by state offices, and the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts oversees operations there.
The new judicial center will now be the home of court proceedings, replacing the Washington County Courthouse, built in 1816, although the old courthouse will remain in operation for other county business.
Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said he is pleased with the new building, and looks forward to seeing it serve for many years, as well.
“This beautiful, modern and secure structure will serve the judicial needs of our citizens for many generations,” Settles said.
Following the dedication ceremony, tours were offered to the public to get a first-hand view of the entire judicial center, including areas that will typically be off limits to the general public, such as judges’ chambers, prisoner holding cells and the secure entrance at the rear of the judicial center where prisoners will be brought into the building.