Friday morning city and county officials welcomed the new Onslow County Courthouse to the public.
It was made available after the courthouse was holding select hearings last month.
The building has four courtrooms and will add five more when the Summersill building next door is complete.
The Summersill building had major damage from Hurricane Florence but anticipate to open in the next to 5 to 7 months.
Onslow County finally has a new courthouse after years of planning.
“It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It’s a nice feeling to feel organized again,” said Chief District Court Judge of the 4th judicial system Paul Hardison.
He and many county officials will transition into the new Onslow County Courthouse. It is a significant step for Onslow County’s judicial system.
“Because of the number of cases and the volume of cases that we have in Onslow. We’ve held court in the police department, the sheriff’s department, city hall,” said Judge Hardison.
Lisa Brown, Onslow County’s Clerk of Superior Court added, “they’ve had to load up all the files that can be anywhere from 200 to 700 cases a day, put those in the car and drive out to the government complex or to city hall.”
The new building is comprised of 4 courtrooms that will hold a majority of case hearings. However due to the Summersill building under construction the county will have to find alternative locations for their small claims court and civil court.
The courthouse is making strides with their technological advancements, including their monitors that will help guide visitors to their hearings.
“You don’t have to go looking through paper. You can use your computer, your iPad. We all have laptops that we can utilize. We have access right there,” said Judge Hardison.
With case loads increasing and modifications still to be made, county officials believe the future of Jacksonville looks bright.
The Summersill building next door is still under construction. Once completed, it will have 5 courtrooms that will be connected to the new Onslow County Courthouse.
The Summersill building is set to be complete in the next 6-9 months.