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Justice Building Project Underway on Capitol Grounds

Written by Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

July 6, 2021

An expansion to the Justice Building on the grounds of the state Capitol will provide much-needed office space and will also serve as a place of education for visitors young and old.

Construction has begun on the Justice Building expansion project, which will renovate about 3,000 square feet of existing space and add about 25,000 square feet of new space.

The $12.8 million project will expand the north and south wings of the existing building that houses the Arkansas Supreme Court Library, the Arkansas Court of Appeals, and the Administrative Office of the Courts. The expanded areas will line up next to the Supreme Court Rotunda Building. The designers, AMR Architects of Little Rock and Brackett-Krennerich and Associates of Jonesboro, will be tasked with creating the facade for the expansion.

The project will add 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 7,500 square feet that will serve as a Capitol Grounds Visitor and Civics Education Center.

Chief Justice Dan Kemp said the project was approved by the Arkansas Supreme Court several years ago as part of the master plan for the Justice Building.

“However, it was only in the past year or so that it became feasible to revive the project,” he said in an email Thursday. “During the summer of 2019, we began working with the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and the Division of Building Authority to review our existing bonds. We discovered that by refinancing the existing bonds we could save over $400,000 in interest expenses. At this point, we concluded that the Judiciary was in a much better financial position to do this project than in 2016.”

Read the full story HERE.

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