The Okaloosa County courthouse was reduced to rubble in January with the intention of being rebuilt.
Standing since 1955, the structure became overrun with black mold and asbestos. County commissioners voted to demolish the building in October 2015 and its doors closed for the final time April 2016.
After months of debate, the county decided to rebuild on the existing site, hoping to complete the project by July 2018. Groundbreaking began shortly after the former complex was demolished.
The new building received a cost estimate of $23 million, compared to the $400,000 spent constructing its predecessor in 1955 and $29,000 spent on the original building in 1918.
“The goal is to achieve a facility that the citizens [in Crestview] can be proud of and make sure Crestview will be the home of the county courthouse for the next generation,” Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles said when the decision was made to rebuild on the same property at 101 James Lee Blvd. E.
After months of demolition and site clearing, the courthouse construction is seeing significant progress. Multiple walls have been built and a steel frame for portions of the building are in place.
According to Jason Autrey, Okaloosa County’s public works director, recent storms have only had mild impacts on construction, and rain days are being tracked in accordance with the contract.
Autrey said the construction project is currently on schedule, and the contract completion date remains July 3, 2018.
Staff Writer Alicia Adams contributed to this report.