As originally designed, the Highlands County Courthouse was to house the court system and the county's constitutional officers. For the past 50 years, virtually all county and state concerns could be handled from one building. Nowadays more space is required. Highlands County will soon be adding a third building to what is becoming a courthouse complex as part of its continuing effort to provide county and state services in the same area.
The Highlands County Government Center is slated for completion December 10, 1997. Occupying the building will be the county constitutional officers -- Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, selected offices of the Clerk of Courts and the Board of County Commission Administrative Staff.
Between the Center and the Courthouse is the second building of the complex, known as the Courthouse Annex. This building will house the State Attorney's office. The county plans to add a second floor to the Annex which will become the Public Defender's Office.
The original Courthouse will continue to be primarily devoted to the court system and the clerk's office. Some additional space will be gained when a part of the clerk's record-keeping will move to the new Government Center.
County Administrator Carl Cool reports that construction on the two-sory, 58,000 square foot Government Center is on time and within budget. In December the county's constitutional officers will be moving from their presently scattered facilities to their new spaces in the Government Center and the Courthouse Annex.
Story republished with the permission of The Lawyer's Exchange published by Gibson & Valenti PA. Volume II Fall 1997