Federal courthouse building could be ready by early June

Monday, April 21, 2008

The long-awaited opening of the new federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau could take place in early June, a spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration said last week.

An official announcement won't come for a week or more, when evaluations of roof repairs made following the flooding rains of March 18 and 19 are complete, said Charlie Cook, spokesman for the GSA in Kansas City, Mo.

The evaluations include determinations of whether interior repairs made because of water damage are satisfactory, Cook said.

"Right now we are leaning toward the second of June, but we are just not there," Cook said.

The rain was another delay in a project that began with the first contract awarded in 2003 and has seen repeated delays for problems ranging from inadequate engineering evaluations of the site to a new contract award and the need for $2 million worth of repairs to problems discovered about a year ago when officials thought the building was finally ready.

The project, originally expected to cost $50 million, had grown to $62 million before the last year's repair bills were added.

"I know it is scheduled to be all complete," Cook said, but the GSA has refrained from making any premature announcements. "There are a lot of things we are still dealing with."

Agencies assigned to the building should begin moving in next month, he said.

Even when the building's doors are opened for public use, he said some agencies will still be moving in.

"After all the delays, we have to make sure everything is in order before we announce something," Cook said.

rkeller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

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