“It's a pleasure to see it go up. It's been a long time coming. It's going to be good.”
CRESTVIEW — The skyline of downtown Crestview has been altered by the outline of a new Okaloosa County Courthouse.
“You see it. Structural steel,” an Ajax Building Corporation official named Chad said this week when asked how construction was progressing.
The heavy steel beams being installed now will act as the skeleton of the new $23 million courthouse, which is slated for completion July 3, 2018.
The building will house three courtrooms and three judges’ chambers unless savings realized during the early phases of construction allow for a fourth set of courtooms and chambers to be added, Public Works Director Jason Autry has said.
From the window of his law office, attorney Gillis Powell looks across Crestview's Main Street at the construction site. He said a lot of people in the Okaloosa County seat are excited to see progress on the new courthouse.
“It’s a pleasure to see it go up,” Powell said. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s going to be good.”
The old county courthouse, constructed in 1955, had its flaws to be sure, but with court activities and several county offices located there, it never lacked for business, Powell said. Since April of 2016, when the courthouse doors were closed for the last time, the buzz has been missing from downtown Crestview.
He’s eager to see the return of courthouse commerce.
“When the courthouse is going, it’s a busy area,” Powell said.
Okaloosa County spokesman Rob Brown reported Friday that the construction project remains on schedule and that delays caused by weather have been few.