The new South County Courts/R. L. Anderson Building Remodel includes construction of a new, two-story, four-court, courthouse and ancillary spaces to serve the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, and Court Administration. In anticipation of future growth, the building was designed to allow for two additional courtrooms for a future total of six courtrooms. The new building will be located on the campus of the existing R. L. Anderson Building, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice.
The relocation of court functions from the R. L. Anderson Building to the new courthouse building will also result in the reallocation of spaces within the R. L. Anderson Building and its annex building. This reorganization of space will facilitate the renovations necessary to address immediate and near-term growth in various court-related and general government services provided from the existing R. L. Anderson complex including the Office of the State Attorney, Office of the Public Defender, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Department of Veterans Services, Health Department, and Planning and Development Services.
The project includes extensive site work including expanded parking, new stormwater treatment facilities, and landscaping improvements.
Project Phases and Details
In order to accelerate the project, the project has been divided into two major phases. The first phase will include the construction of a new parking area along South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), rearrangement of existing parking facilities, new stormwater improvements, and preparation of the site for the new court building. The second phase will include construction of a new, 40,000-square-foot court building and remodel of the two existing R. L. Anderson buildings.
The new court building will feature improved security screening, modern facilities and technology to accommodate current and future court administrative needs. The design will include solar panels to contribute to the project’s electrical needs and address the county’s commitment to sustainability. Renovations to the existing R. L. Anderson buildings will include modernization of lighting, elevators, mechanical equipment and interiors.
The South County Courts/R. L. Anderson Building Remodel will provide more secure and modernized court facilities convenient to south Sarasota County. The project will also improve and reorganize both court-related and general government office areas within the existing R. L. Anderson campus to better serve the citizens of Sarasota County.
The South County Courts/R.L. Anderson Building Remodel evolved from early discussions dating back many years. Under the leadership of our Board of County Commissioners, the current project was developed, which aligns the need for current and future court facilities with the need for expansion and modernization of general governmental offices at this south county campus.
The current approved project budget is $5,901,125 through Phase One, which covers the cost of pre-construction activities and sitework only. All subsequent phases of work will be brought before the Board of County Commissioners for approval. These phases will include construction of the new court building and renovations of the existing Robert L. Anderson buildings. These costs include all associated design fees, construction costs, furniture, fixtures and equipment, and internal management costs.
The current approved project budget is funded through a combination of Justice Facility Impact Fee Construction Fund, Justice Facilities Impact Fees, and the Capital Improvements Fund.
Impact fees are charges the county imposes on new developments to help fund off-site capital improvements such as mobility improvements, schools, utilities, parks, emergency services, and general government facilities.
The first phase of the project, which includes sitework only, will begin in spring 2020. Subsequent phases of the project to construct the new court building and renovate the existing Robert L. Anderson buildings are projected to be completed by late calendar year 2022.
Yes. In order to accelerate the project, the project has been divided into two major phases. The first phase will include the construction of a new parking area along South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), rearrangement of existing parking facilities, new stormwater improvements, and preparation of the site to receive the new court building. The second phase will include construction of a new, 40,000-square-foot court building and remodeling of the two existing R. L. Anderson buildings.
Yes. Although the current design calls for four courtrooms, the courthouse building was designed to allow for the future addition of two more courtrooms. In the current design, this future space is infilled with court support functions. These court support functions will need to be relocated when an expansion to six courts is implemented.
Yes. Although there may be some brief periods of interruptions during the move of building occupants or utility shut-downs, the project is being designed to allow for uninterrupted service by all the providers of services operating out of the existing buildings.
Yes. The project includes a significant increase in parking and when completed, the project will feature more than 300 parking spaces including a new public parking area along U.S. 41. This new parking area will offer parking more convenient access for citizens visiting the general government offices located in the existing Robert L. Anderson building.
Yes. The existing pond on the north side of the site along U.S. 41 will be filled in to provide more convenient parking to the north entrance to the R. L. Anderson building and offices within this building. When possible, the wildlife that uses this pond (primarily turtles) will be relocated by county staff. The ponds along the east side of the site will be improved and expanded to help provide new wildlife habitat. The bat houses along the north and east side of the site have already been relocated in anticipation of construction and so as not to disturb the bats during their nesting season.
Yes. There are no plans to disturb the rookery or areas currently designated for visitors to the rookery. Construction fencing will be erected to separate construction areas from the areas used by rookery visitors for parking and observation. In addition, both pedestrian and construction traffic will be kept separated from public traffic wherever possible.