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FORT WORTH-Tarrant County officials gather tomorrow for a gold-shovel ground-breaking on a $41-million, 258,000-sf Family Law Center that will rise on a vacant city block in Fort Worth.

The construction schedule calls for site excavation to get under way in mid-November, Ed Rittmayer, senior project manager for Providence, RI-based Gilbane Building Co., tells GlobeSt.com. Requests for proposals will be floated in mid-December. The Gilbane team as construction manager wants to have proposals under review by the end of January 2003 so the balance of the contracts can be let and crews ready to start foundation work in March.

Gilbane’s Rittmayer estimates the project will have 300 tradesmen on site at peak construction for the project, ticketed for completion by midyear 2005. In the past month, Gilbane wrapped up work on a complementary 750-space parking garage.

An estimated 1,000 invitations were mailed for the event being held at 10 a.m. The lineup will include the county judiciary as well as the Gilbane executives tasked with bringing the project to fruition. The family law center, designed by Fort Worth’s Gideon Toal Architects, will go up across the street from the historic courthouse as part of an existing 1.3-million-sf Tarrant County courts campus, most of which rose under Gilbane’s watch. The law center, the seventh building for the downtown campus, will face Weatherford Street. It is bounded by Commerce, Calhoun and First streets.

The center will house family law courtrooms and support offices and is being built with a multi-million bond package. A 225,000-sf civil courts building that was to be part of the latest building phase has been placed on hold, Rittmayer says.

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