By ERIN MILLER
The state Department of Accounting and General Services has selected a contractor for the design and engineering of the new Kona Judiciary complex, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald said during a Friday visit to West Hawaii.
A Judiciary spokeswoman was not able to provide the contractor’s name late Friday.
“We’re moving forward,” Recktenwald said.
The design contractor will visit the site, adjacent to the West Hawaii Civic Center, to see what the land can accommodate, as well as identify the Judiciary’s needs and how best to address those, the said.
“Building this courthouse here is my top construction priority for the Judiciary,” Recktenwald said. “The need is clear.”
The new location will consolidate the Judiciary’s offices, which are now spread out over several locations, from Kealakekua to Kailua-Kona. Having just one courthouse will allow the Judiciary to operate more efficiently, Recktenwald said, and allow for better security.
Problems with the courthouse locations now being used include limited parking and older facilities. The space for court visitors is also limited, and family members of victims and defendants often end up waiting near each other for court proceedings to begin.
Funding the construction, which is expected to cost $90 million, is the next step, the chief justice said.
“The Legislature’s been very supportive,” he said. “We need to go forward.”
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