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Source : Florida Department of Management Services
November 18, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
Construction of the Second District Court of Appeal has commenced in downtown St. Petersburg, built near 525 Mirror Lake Drive.
This $59m St. Petersburg Courthouse is located near the Pinellas County Clerk of Court, St. Petersburg City Hall, and multiple other government buildings. It is named as Bernie McCabe Second District Court of Appeal Courthouse after the late State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida representing Pinellas and Pasco County, Bernie McCabe.
McCabe was a legal and political giant in Tampa Bay, where he was recognized as a mentor to young lawyers, a shrewd litigator, and a champion for crime victims, police officers, and children. He served on the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board for 20 years and was one of Florida's first state attorneys to establish drug and veterans' treatment courts.
According to sources, the property was formerly home to the Sebring Building, constructed in 1968, which previously held several state departments, including the Department of Education and Health Department. The Sebring Building was owned and operated by the Florida Department of Management Services. With the growing need for a new Courthouse, government officials decided to revitalize the site, and the Sebring Building was demolished in 2022 to make room for the new facilities.
The Chief Judge of Florida's Second District Court of Appeal, Judge Daniel H. Sleet, said, "I am pleased to announce that the design process for our new courthouse is in the final stages and that the site and foundation work is beginning."
"We want to thank Florida's Department of Management Services, our architect, the construction team, and the City of St. Petersburg for collaborating on this project," added Judge Sleet. "We look forward to keeping the community informed about our progress."
The Bernie McCabe Second District Court of Appeal Courthouse will be three stories and span 53,000 square feet. It will have a courtroom, fifteen judicial chambers, and works spaces for ninety-five full-time employees.
This Second District Court of Appeal will soon move from Lakeland to St. Petersburg, where it is now housed in a classroom in downtown Tampa. This action has been planned for a while and has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the new Courthouse, the Florida Legislature approved $50 million in 2021 and then added an extra $9 million in a later session.
The Orlando-based DLR Group is in charge of the $59m St. Petersburg Courthouse architectural designs, and Wannemacher Jensen Architects, located in St. Pete, serves as the Associate Architect. Skanska USA is in charge of the project's construction phase.
The first phase of groundwork has been completed, and vertical construction is expected to start in the coming months. No completion date has yet been specified; however, according to a few resources, this new Courthouse is forecasted to be operational by Spring 2025.