Confusion to come with courthouse opening
Long-delayed, $350M-building set to open Monday
It's generally not fun going to court, but for people who have to go on Monday, it's likely going to be confusing with the court system slowed about three weeks.
There is a lot of work to be caught up on, and people who rely on the courts are very frustrated.
"It's really a mess," Crystal Geddes said. "I will be glad when they get everything back up and running."
On Monday, the true test begins, but after years of construction delays and cost overruns, the city says it's ready for the opening of the new $350 Duval County Courthouse.
SLIDESHOW: Inside $350 million courthouse
"Monday morning we will be up and ready to go for customers to come into the new courthouse," Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller said. "It's a fantastic building that I think people will appreciate when they come in."
There will be several thousand people inside, including nearly 500 jurors. They will be put in a room and await to be selected for one of the first trials to be held in one of the new courtrooms.
Right now, many people who have received summonses for next week have no idea where to go.
"When you come in to the new building, there will be people to direct you where to go -- escalator or elevators," Fuller said. "The jury, witnesses is on the second floor, west side."
Jurors will park at EverBank Field, but for everyone else, it's going to be difficult because street parking is limited.
Parking attendants have been checking out new parking meters. There is a parking garage across the street that will have some space for those who just need to park for a short time.
Inside the courthouse, there are information kiosks to direct people where to go. It's an 800,000-square-foot building, double the size of the old courthouse.
Officials say it's going to take time for people to get used to it, but they are ready to get the court system back up and running.
"As people come in to do business, there is some information booths there to help them go to the right or left side to get their work done," Fuller said. "We got our people in there now, and we are still checking out stuff, but people are unpacking their boxes and we will be ready for the public Monday."
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