Court­house open­ing:

8-story build­ing features nat­u­ral light in court­rooms, com­puter-con­trolled cli­mate.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - ByJuan Castillo jcastillo@states­

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.

Deb­o­rah Can­non / amer­i­can-states­man

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.

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