Nearly 10 years ago, Jackson County’s newest court opened in a building constructed in 1953-54 to house people accused of breaking the law.
After the new jail opened in the summer of 2000, that building was converted into an annex for other county offices, and on Jan. 1, 2008, Jackson Superior Court II opened for business inside that building.
Bruce MacTavish, the court’s first and only judge, continues to this day ruling on issues ranging from juveniles accused of committing crimes to divorces and custody issues to protective orders.
Those rulings come from his bench inside a room at the annex that also serves as a meeting room for county commissioners, county council and other groups. There’s no waiting area — except for a narrow hallway outside the room and the parking lot — for juveniles waiting on hearings and feuding family members.
That’s about to change, however, with the construction of a $12.14 million, 38,000-square-foot justice center on Sugar Street adjacent to the annex and just east of the courthouse.
The groundbreaking for the center, which will house the county’s three courts with room for a fourth when needed, was conducted late Wednesday morning.
For more on this story, read Friday’s edition of The Tribune.