Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Courthouse Project Back, with Cast Much like First

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Courthouse Project Back, with Cast Much like First

Article excerpt

Talk about deja vu.

Three of the four firms that had been in the running in 2002 to design a new Duval County Courthouse want to be a part of a new plan to see the project through to completion.

One of the firms, Spillis Candela DMJM, already has been selected by Mayor John Peyton to work as the owners' consultant on the project.

On Friday, a city committee recommended that Peyton hire the joint venture of The Auchter Co. and Perry-McCall Construction Inc., teamed with Rink Design Partnership Inc. and DLR Group to design a criminal courthouse.

Runner-up was Turner Construction Co., teamed with Technical Construction Services Group and KBJ Architects.

Spillis, Rink and KBJ all were finalists to design the courthouse the first time around, but Cannon Design ultimately was selected. At that time, the city first was seeking a designer and then a construction management company to build the facility.

Peyton later pulled the plug on the original plans when costs got too high. He now plans to have one group design and build a new criminal courthouse for $140.2 million.

Later, the city plans to add room for civil functions.

The total budget is expected to reach about $400 million, which would include money already spent on the original plan and land near the old federal courthouse.

Cannon didn't submit a proposal to the city this time around to help with future plans on the courthouse.

Mary Kelli Palka

SUPPORTING THE ARTS

It took an impassioned defense of the arts to convince members of the Finance Committee to preserve $3.75 million in grants that support cultural organizations including the Jacksonville Symphony, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and Karpeles Manuscript Library.

Councilman Warren Alvarez suggested cutting the budget for cultural service grants by 14.5 percent - the same cut that many public service grant recipients saw.

"Those are all wannabe actors, and we're subsidizing them," he said of community theater troupes that receive grants. …

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