After almost 20 people voiced their opinion on where the justice center should go — speakers favored a downtown location by a two-to-one margin — the Project Development Board met, hearing the first of what may be the most decisive voice on the issue — Mother Earth’s.
“This building may be sitting on a cave,” CMW architect Dennis Arthur told the board, still meeting in the courthouse, as they held their regularly scheduled meeting after the forum. The courthouse’s location has been an oft-mentioned location for the new justice center.
Arthur said after the meeting, however, that the existence of a “void” alone is not a deal-breaker for that location, but would affect what kind of foundation would be required.
The Project Development Board meets again on March 8, when they will prioritize a list of potential sites for the center. Arthur said he could have a geological surveyor ready to begin work on those sites the next day.
The surveyor will drill into the various sites to investigate soil composition, and at the current courthouse to determine the size of any voids beneath the building.
Arthur said determining what kind of soil sits beneath the new center is of particular importance for this area because it is a Class D earthquake zone, which he called one of the worst. In other areas, designing a building to withstand high winds is the primary concern.
During the post-hearing discussion, Administrative Office of the Courts representative Vance Mitchell told the board, “I wouldn’t let ‘someone doesn’t want to move’ control where our site is going to be” as they prioritize locations.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.