ARRA Spurs $50 Million Orlando Courthouse Modernization

ORLANDO, Fla. — A modernization of Orlando’s federal courthouse, put on hold due to the recession, has resumed after federal authorities released more than $49 million in stimulus funding for the green renovation program.

The General Services Administration will use funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to renovate and upgrade the six-story George C. Young U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building. The modernization program is designed to make the 188,000-square-foot building more energy efficient and to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Our intention is to design this project beyond its LEED Silver objectives,” says Michael LeBoeuf, of DLR Group, the lead design firm on project.

The GSA awarded the project to the Orlando office of the full-service architectural and engineering firm in 2007. However, the project was suspended due to funding issues shortly after completion of the program development study.

The availability of ARRA funding, under the high-performance green building program, allowed GSA officials to restart the modernization project as part of the agency’s 2009-10 spending plan.

Building systems, including HVAC and M/E/P systems, will be upgraded to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

ourthouse circulation will be improved for enhanced security and smoke detection and fire suppression systems will be modernized to provide enhanced safety for building occupants.

The Young courthouse houses four district, magistrate and bankruptcy courtrooms, judges chambers, court clerk and administrative space, and offices for the U.S. attorney, pretrial and probation services and social security.

In 2007, the joint venture of Leers Weinzapfel Associates and Heery-HLM completed a $102 million, six-story courthouse annex, featuring a five-story atrium. It is linked to the existing Young building by a two-level covered walkway and underground tunnel and created an additional 330,000 square feet of space. The project also integrated a two-acre semi-public park into the expanded complex, which covers an entire city block.

In other news, DLR will collaborate with prime architect Pieper O’Brien Herr Architects to design a $70 million addition to the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville, Ga.

DLR will focus on courts design for the expansion project, which will create 200,000 square feet of additional court, administrative and support space. Designed to achieve LEED certification, the expanded facility will also provide additional space for the district attorney’s office, solicitor’s office and courts clerk.