Judicial Center

Project Description

SPLOST Project Description:  Judicial Facilities will be constructed at approximately 310,000 square feet of space to provide adequate space for Superior, State, Juvenile, Municipal/Magistrate, Probate, and Juvenile Courts as well as all court related space for Judges and Clerks of each court, Sheriff, District Attorney, Public Defender, Accountability Courts, and other court related functions at an estimated cost of $188,000,000, plus an approximate 500-600 space parking facility at an estimated cost of $12,000,000.

SPLOST Referendum included the issuance of $200,000,000 in General Obligation Bonds to advance the construction of the Judicial Center (Note:  All others projects would be pay-as-you-go.)

2021 SPLOST Project Budget = $200,000,000

Project Timeline

July 23, 2019, City Council declared its intention to pursue a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in the General Election dated November 3, 2020 and to utilize the Construction Manager at Risk Procurement Process for the Government Center/Judicial Center Project(s). (Resolution #199-19)
November 5, 2019, City Council awards a contract to SLAM Collaborative (previously CBRE/Heery) for Space Planning & Programming and Design Professional Services (Resolution #384-19)
February 11, 2020, City Council awards a contract to Gilbane Building Company (partnering with Freeman & Associates) for Construction Manager as General Contractor Services
A study was conducted to evaluate the options to renovate the Government Center or construct a new Judicial Center. The four options included: Renovate Tower with Addition, New Complex on the Existing Site, New Courts on the Existing Site with Government Complex on a new site, New Complex on a New Site.
May 12, 2020, City Council declared its intention to postpone a referendum on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) described in Resolution No. 199-19 until a Special Election to be held November 2, 2021.
SPLOST Intent Resolution #227-21 passed by City Council on July 27, 2021
November 2, 2021, the voters of Muscogee County approved the SPLOST referendum for a total of $400,000,000 in projects.
February 22, 2022, City Council approved the execution of contract amendments with the SLAM Collaborative and Gilbane Building Company for the full design and preconstruction services for the new Judicial Center.
March 10, 2022, Sales Tax General Obligation Bonds issued in the amount of $129,490,000 which sold at a premium and resulted in proceeds of $150,592,124.95.
November 7, 2023, City Council approved additional allocation of up to $7.5 million of funding in FY25 and FY26 for future shell space.
December 2023, estimated construction start date
2025/2026, the balance of the Sales Tax General Obligation Bonds will be issued for anticipated proceeds of $50,000,000.
2026, Estimated completion of new Judicial Center; Estimated relocation of departments into new Judicial Center; Estimated demolition of Government Center Tower
2027, Estimated final completion of project including all public parking areas


342,000 Gross Square Feet
18 Courtrooms (5 Shell)
500+ Site Parking

For more information contact:

Ryan Pruett


(706) 653-4126



Frequently Asked Questions

The following courts and departments will be in the Judicial Center.

  • Superior Court
  • Juvenile Court
  • State Court
  • Municipal/Magistrate Court
  • Probate Court
  • Clerk of Superior and State Court
  • District Attorney's Office
  • Municipal Court Clerk
  • State Solicitor's Office
  • Public Defender's Office
  • Jury Assembly
  • Law Library
  • Accountability Courts

The total project budget for the Judicial Center is $207,500,000.00. This includes design costs, furniture, fixtures and equipment, project management and other costs. The estimated construction budget is $192,500,000.00.

The Judicial Center is being paid for by SPLOST General Obligation Bonds proceeds which the debt service is funded from the 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The SPLOST was approved by voters in November 2021 and dedicated $200 million for the new Judicial Center. In addition, City Council authorized the allocation of $7.5 million in reserve funds to add an additional floor in the Judicial Center to provide growth space for the future needs of the occupants.

Yes. The current Government Center will be demolished upon completion of the Judicial Center and the relocation of all offices to the new building. This will provide space for public parking. The demolition is projected to occur in 2026.

Construction is estimated to start in December 2023. The new Judicial Center will be complete in 2026. Following completion of the new Judicial Center, the existing Government Center will be demolished and the remaining sitework will be completed in 2027.

There will be three ways for the public to enter the Judicial Center. The primary entrance will be at the street level on 10th Street. Secondary entrances are available on the south side of the building at grade level and the Plaza level. All three entrances lead to a two-story lobby.

Yes. There will be a surface lot designated for public parking. The surface lot will contain approximately 130 parking spaces with entrances and exits off 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue on the north side of 9th Street. Additional public parking spaces will be available on the south side of 9th Street in an overflow surface parking lot.

On-street parking on the south side of 10th Street, east side of 1st Avenue, and west side of 2nd Avenue will be eliminated during construction. In addition, 1st Avenue will be modified to be a southbound one-way street. 2nd Avenue will be modified to be a northbound one-way street. 10th Street will have two-way traffic throughout the construction duration.

When the Judicial Center is complete, there will be 13 courtrooms. There will be an additional five shell courtrooms that will not be fully built-out. The building is designed to accommodate over 20 courtrooms in the future if the need arises.

A website and/or social media page will be established to provide ongoing updates and pictures of the progress during construction.

Yes. Prior to the approval of the 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, multiple options were considered for replacement and/or renovation of the Government Center. These options included constructing the Judicial Center on a different location, renovating the existing Government Center, and constructing a new Judicial Center on the current site. Following multiple public meetings and feedback from user groups, City Council approved the option of constructing a new Judicial Center on the existing site.

The renovation of the existing Government Center building would require all user departments to relocate during construction. This relocation is necessary due to the amount of work required on the existing tower to make it code compliant. To comply with the life safety code a full height addition would have to be constructed in addition to replacing all building systems and replacing the entire exterior skin. The time and money associated with finding a temporary courthouse location and renovating that space make the renovation of the existing tower unfavorable.

During the public meetings regarding the SPLOST, this option was favored by the participants and the existing occupants of the building. This site is also the historic location of the courthouse for Columbus.

The escalated construction costs required an alternate site plan to remain within the budget and still provide the programming contemplated by the referendum.


Judicial Center Final Animation