Jacksonville, FL - It’s a decade’s long debate that’s been extended one again.
Over the weekend, the city issued another temporary certificate of occupancy for the new Duval County Courthouse, citing five issues that need to be resolved before a permanent certificate can be issued. While most of these appear they will be settled soon, there are a few snags.
The biggest issue may be cost.
Turner is claiming the city still owes them $6 million dollars for work completed over the summer. This is affecting payout to local subcontractors as well. Turner has yet to provide more details on what specifically still needs payment, but it’s a complaint we had heard during the most recent Courthouse Oversight Committee meeting as well.
I asked the city specifically whether it agrees with the sum stated by Turner and their reason for non-payment. A spokesman declined to answer specifically, instead issuing a statement that they are “carefully, prudently and properly closing out the construction contract related to this long-running project.
Among the construction questions still outstanding, door opening force appears to be one of the most contentious of the items still needing approval. Since the new building opened, the city has voiced concern over the force needed to open the door. It maintains the doors are not ADA compliant. Turner Construction, however, says they are “in full compliance with all applicable codes”. Despite Turner saying it has time and again shown this to the city, the certificate of occupancy still lists doors as an issue needing resolution.
The remaining problems are on the path to a resolution already. Drawings were submitted in a format that couldn’t be read by the city, and Turner is reformatting that. Construction on the 6th floor restroom is set to be finished in two weeks. Parking area thresholds are awaiting final inspection and a portable lift has been inspected and the certificate is will be in shortly.
The current certificate of occupancy will run through May 7.
At this time, the city has not made a decision on whether there will be formal legal action against Turner relating to the ongoing problems and delays in getting the courthouse open. The Office of General Counsel, Director of Public Works and Mayor’s office make the ultimate determination.
Full statement from Mayor’s Office Spokesman David DeCamp:
“Since hundreds of millions of dollars on the new courthouse, the City of Jacksonville is carefully, prudently and properly closing out the construction contract related to this long-running project. On Sunday, the City issued the third temporary certificate of occupancy since 2012 for Turner Construction to complete work that Turner is contractually obligated to finish. The City looks forward to working with Turner to avoid further delays and complete the project in a way that protects taxpayers.”