New courthouse groundbreaking planned Monday

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Around election time, politicians tend to engage in mud-slinging tactics. But that's not always a bad thing.

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson will sling some soil Monday as part of a groundbreaking ceremony for Cape Girardeau's new federal courthouse.

"I'm very excited," Emerson said. "It's been a long time coming and it took a lot of hard work by a lot of people."

Brad Scott, with the General Services Administration, said construction on the $49.3 million project is set to begin.

Much prep work has been done in the design of the building, Scott said. The GSA and local officials have been involved in a "design-build" concept, which designs not only the structure, but the construction process as well.

"The way design-build works is that everything is timed to arrive in sequential order and at the right time and the right dimension, and you put the building together," he said.

The building, to be located at the corner of Independence and Frederick streets west of the city hall, is scheduled for completion in January 2006. It will have three courtrooms and house the 97 employees of the federal court and other related government agencies.

Bond will be the keynote speaker at Monday's ceremony. Emerson, Mayor Jay Knudtson, chamber of commerce president John Mehner and U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Sr. will also attend.

Knudtson said the federal government has worked closely with Cape Girardeau officials.

"It's been a long process and I've been pleased with the cooperative effort from the federal and municipal level," Knudtson said. "A lot of thought has been given to making this a government complex."

bmiller@semissourian.com

243-6635

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