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FORT MYERS, FL-Plans for the $30 million upgrade and reconstruction of the Lee County Justice Center moves ahead with the recent selection of Centex Rooney Construction Company to serve as the project’s contractor. Work is expected to begin in August.

The county Board Management and Planning Committee recommended the expansion last year, noting that, “space needs are being driven by the general growth of the justice system, including the assignment of additional judges to the 20th Circuit.” The committee then commissioned architectural firm Barany Schmitt Summers Weaver and Partners Inc. to assess the county’s current usage of the center and its impending space needs.

The project entails the remodeling of the center’s current 270,000-sf space into four new courthouses capable of accommodating the entire state attorney’s department, and the addition of 60,000-sf to contain the new structures. County officials acquired the former First Union Bank property for $5.9 million to provide the additional space. Construction completion is planned for no later than 2005.

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