8-story building features natural light in courtrooms, computer-controlled climate.
The new $123 million federal courthouse opens in Austin.
Three years and three months after ground was broken, Austin’s gleaming new downtown federal courthouse opened for business Monday with little fanfare but with some of the inconveniences associated with moving into a new home.
In this case, home is an eight-story, 252,420-squarefoot building of stone and glass bounded by Fourth, Fifth, San Antonio and Nueces streets.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Austin said the $123 million project came in on budget. Construction was paid for predominantly by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“It’s spectacular,” Austin said. “It’s gorgeous architecture and a beautiful space.”
However, the courthouse opened a bit later than expected. When oficials broke ground in September 2009, they estimated it would be completed in three years.
The lobby of the new federal courthouse contains windows several stories tall to let in light. The $123 million project came in on budget but a little later than planned.