By Lisa Kopochinski
GREENVILLE, S.C. — A recent groundbreaking ceremony was held where Senator Lindsey Graham dedicated the new federal courthouse in downtown Greenville to the late South Carolina Republican Governor Carroll Campbell.
Construction has begun on the new $105 million, 10-story building that will span 193,000 square feet. It will contain seven courtrooms and chambers for nine judges. Other court-related tenants include the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a federal public defender’s office.
Brasfield & Gorrie LLC is the construction manager on the project, and HBRA Architects, Inc. is the lead design architect.
The new Carroll A. Campbell Jr. U.S. Courthouse will be on the same site of Campbell’s first business—the legendary Corner Pocket pool hall—at the corner of East North and North Spring streets. While in his 20s, Campbell bought the Corner Pocket pool hall on Coffee Street and ran a parking management business named Handy Park in a building nearby.
Greenville Mayor Knox White said that it was at the Corner Pocket where Campbell honed his political acumen and felt the pulse of the people he would come to represent.
“Thirty years later, you’d hear that story about the man he met at the Corner Pocket,” says White.
Campbell passed away in December 2005 at the age of 65. He served two terms as the 112th Governor of South Carolina from 1987 to 1995, and previously served as a U.S. Congressman and state representative and senator. In the middle of his second term, he was instrumental in negotiating the deal to bring the BMW manufacturing plant to Greer, South Carolina.
Senator Graham says the new federal courthouse will represent the power of the rule of law and offer a dignified place “where people will come usually at a low point in their life. The building matters and the man that it was named after made a big difference.”
Efforts to fund the courthouse have been difficult. In 2015, the General Services Administration earmarked approximately $93 million for site preparation, design and construction in its $947 million courthouse investment plan. Another $11 million had been earmarked for the Greenville facility in 2004. Nine years later in 2013, the federal government paid approximately $4 million for a two-acre corner property that is bounded by East North Street, North Irvine Street, East Coffee Street, and North Spring Street.
The current C.F. Haynesworth Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, built in 1937, is a block away on East Washington Street. It will house the Court of Appeals and Bankruptcy Court and other federal agencies.