It is hard to imagine that the last time Columbia County opened a courthouse, Andrew Jackson was the president of the United States. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime historic event, and we welcome all Columbia County citizens to be a part of it!
In 1998, the citizens of Columbia County voted for a referendum to fund the building of a courthouse annex and an addition to the Detention Center, and the State Legislature voted to allow a courthouse annex to be built outside the County seat of Appling.
The initial drawings featured a building with state-of-the-art technology and security and a modern facade. It was quickly decided a more traditional and graceful structure should be the focal point of the Evans Town Center, and it has exceeded expectations - the building is both beautiful and functional.
The average person probably does not give much thought to the justice system and all the agencies and responsibilities it fulfills on a day-to-day basis. Everything from marriages to murder cases are handled here. The Superior Court, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, and Juvenile Court are housed in this facility as well as the Clerk of Court, District Attorney, and 10th District Court Administrator. We are very thankful for the quality and integrity of our courts.
In the planning stages of the Justice Center, we considered not finishing two of the four courtrooms as a cost-saving measure. Thankfully, we went ahead and finished the complete building because from the moment of the ribbon-cutting this August, every courtroom has been used every day.
The Board of Commissioners is pleased that our citizens can now conveniently conduct their business, and the judges have much needed space, security, and technology.
We are most honored to have U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as the guest speaker at the dedication on November 20, 2002. His presence reinforces the magnitude of this occasion. Columbia County currently has the oldest and newest functioning courthouses in the state of Georgia, and we take great pride in both.
Every Columbia County citizen has contributed to this marvelous Justice Center and to the positive growth of the County.
I wish to thank you for your exemplary cooperation, diligence, and vision that make Columbia County such a remarkable community and hope that you will come to the dedication and have a tour of this dignified structure.
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