AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) For some city leaders this is space going to waste, and say it’s worth considering reusing the old LEC for the courts.
“If it could be used if it could be refurbished if it could be renovated I’m all for it,” says Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.
“I think it’s a good location It’s close to the Judicial Center the Sheriff’s Office and everything else I think it would be a good move,” says Commissioner Grady Smith.
Augusta’s Juvenile Court needs to move.
”We don’t have a home,” says Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan.
Juvenile Court is spread over two locations at the Municipal Building and the Judicial Center, so it needs a central location and a lot more space that’s why officials are suggesting renovating the old LEC.
“I think the city needs to take a good look at it and I think they can see if they fit our needs of course we want it to be cost effective for the taxpayer,” said Judge Flanagan.
Courtrooms are a part of the old LEC but so is a history of leaks and mold, because that and architectural analysis is needed and that will be costly.
“It is we have an estimate that’s it’s going to cost about 90 thousand dollars to do a structural survey as well as an environmental assessment of the facility to determine its usefulness in the future,” said Takiyah Douse, Director of Central Services.
And even if the city spends the money, there’s no guarantee the studies will say the building can be used.
“At this point we do not know what the results of the assessment will be however it will be for architecture and engineering services,” says Douse.
The commission must still approve whether to do the analysis; Douse says she doesn’t have money in her budget to pay for it.
Meanwhile, the Commission Public Safety Committee has agreed to go to Chatham County to tour its Juvenile Court space that has 23 thousand square feet, compared to just 12 hundred in Augusta.