New federal courthouse functional on the inside, a little austere on the outside (+photos)
The textured windows allow the interior of the courthouse to remain at nearly a constant temperature, putting less strain on the HVAC systems. Ninety-nine percent of solar rays don't enter the building, she said.
The new courthouse will have 10 courtrooms in addition to grand jury rooms. It will also house the U.S. Marshal's Office and other government agencies.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court will remain in the old federal courthouse. There are discussions in place whether to move the U.S. Attorney's Office into the old building, according to project managers.
Construction crews plan to upgrade the old courthouse's seismic safety features. In addition, Mills said there are plans to turn the area between the old and new courthouse into a plaza.
Ground for the new courthouse was broken in February of 2011. But the idea of a new building had been tossed around since 1991, Damour said. She gave thanks several times to former Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, for being able to finally secure the funding from Congress for the building after years of having to battle for it.
To make room for the new courthouse, the popular Port O' Call bar was bought out and Odd Fellows Hall, a 118-year-old building, was moved — one of the heaviest moving projects in Utah history.
For the first three months after ground was broken, the area became an archeological site when workers, after removing the black top from a parking lot, found an old printing and blacksmith shop. Thousands of historic artifacts were discovered, including plates, pottery, a wagon wheel and dozens of old signs, according to the General Services Administration.
Construction of the new building finished on time in March. Because a lot of the construction was done during a down time in the economy for new growth, the entire project came in at $181 million, about $25 million less than what was originally budgeted, Mills said.
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