New Federal Courthouse Approved for Jefferson City

1 decade 2 years 10 months ago Tuesday, January 17 2006 Jan 17, 2006 Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:40:52 PM CST January 17, 2006 in News

Mary Kirby, her husband and dog Shelby have lived just down the street from the Missouri State Penitentiary for almost five years. She's excited about new plans she hopes will help her neighborhood.

"I think that, with the prison being gone and with a new federal courthouse coming in, the people is [sic]going to feel a lot better about this neighborhood," Kirby said.

State and federal officials signed an agreement on Tuesday to give the former state prison to the federal government to build a courthouse. The agreement comes nearly five years after the U.S. General Services Administration determined Jefferson City needed a new federal courthouse because of space and security issues. But, budget problems and a moratorium on courthouse construction stalled the project for two years until U.S. Sen. Kit Bond secured $5.2 million.

"Now, these courthouses, as we know, can be a tremendous catalyst for community growth," Bond said. "And we look forward to the possibility in a rapidly-developing area of town that has so much potential."

Kirby hopes construction will increase property values and add perks to her neighborhood.

"I'm hoping that maybe some of these roads will get re-done, so maybe people will start fixing up their houses a little more," Kirby explained. "And, you know, try and make it a better neighborhood."

Extensive renovations will cost about $50 million in additional funds from the Judiciary Committee, which Bond chairs. He's confident the committee will approve the money.

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