SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County leaders, judges, attorneys, and many others came together on Tuesday to break ground on what will soon be the new Spartanburg County Courthouse.
“We come together to celebrate a historic day in our community’s continual evolution,” Allen Smith with OneSpartanburg, Inc. said.
The new courthouse will be built on Magnolia Street, right behind the current courthouse.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a courthouse is more than just a building. A courthouse is the focal point of any community,” Chief Justice Donald Beatty said. “A courthouse is what keeps a community together because it is the seat of the rule of law.”
The $120 million facility will be six stories tall and will house 16 finished courtrooms, a jury assembly room, and two unfinished courtrooms for future expansion.
It will consist of 340,000 square feet of space, which is more than three times the size of the current courthouse–enough room, leaders said, for the county’s expected growth.
“All of our disputes that we might have–be they petty, be they large–are resolved right here in the courthouse,” Beatty said. “This is a place that people look to, and come to, to finally get some resolution to whatever issue that might impact their lives.”
The project is being funded by the capital penny sales tax that was voted on back in 2017.
Leaders said the project will bring an economic impact of about $240 million to the county.
“An estimated $60 million will come from people who don’t even live here,” Smith said. “People visiting, people coming to Spartanburg to shop, people stopping to get gas, they will help us pay for these projects.”
And it will bring many jobs with it as well.
“This project, along with the City-County Municipal Complex–by the way, the only one in South Carolina–and the Emergency Operations Center will support 1,839 jobs,” Smith said.
After years of dealing with serious mold problems at the current courthouse, some said this project was a long time coming.
“They will eventually get out of this sick building and be in a new building that will be impressive for the County of Spartanburg; and all the efforts that have gone into it will be appreciated by everybody who walks through our judicial system,” former Spartanburg County Clerk of Court Hope Blackley said. “They can be proud of what we have versus worrying about leaky roofs, mold issues, spatial issues, and safety issues.”
Construction of the new courthouse is expected to last just shy of three years. That includes the demolition of the old courthouse.
As part of the construction, lane closures on N. Daniel Morgan Avenue will begin in September.
The new courthouse will be the 7th courthouse in Spartanburg County’s history.