SAN ANTONIO - Construction on the new federal courthouse, which will be at the corner of Santa Rosa Avenue and West Nueva Street, officially started Monday.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who was at the groundbreaking for the new facility, said it has been a lengthy process to get to this point, but he’s glad he was able to secure funding for the courthouse in December 2015.
“San Antonio began to slip down the list of judicial priorities and we were No. 8, and we had to come up with some way to find funding for all eight of those in order to get San Antonio taken care of,” Cornyn said.
The newly constructed courthouse will have more space than the old courthouse, which will go from having four courtrooms to eight and an upgraded design with more security.
“When the building was built in 1968, it was never intended to be a courthouse," Cornyn said about the old building. “So you had jurors walking next to a defendant in a criminal case and judges had to use the same hallways, just completely unacceptable.”
The new facility is also a sign of the ever-changing downtown. The new courthouse will be very close to the expansion of the University of Texas at San Antonio's downtown campus and the San Pedro Creek Cultural Park.
“What we’re standing on around here is a total change in this part of the city,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “The federal courthouse will be the most important piece of that change.”
The new courthouse is expected to be up and running by April 2022.
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