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New County Courthouse ‘substantially completed’; target opening court date set for May 18

The new Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, located on the corner of North Missouri Street and West Washington Street, was deemed “substantially completed” by the County Commissioners during their regular meeting on April 30.

During the same meeting, the Commission transferred the courthouse’s utilities from Penzel Construction to the County and approved the final change order from the project.

The change order increase of $124,671 included lettering above the east entry of the building to further identify the building, a sidewalk alongside Highway 61 that needed repaired and widened, Missouri Street paving and a few additional security cameras.

Commissioner Charlie Herbst said they were planning to move judges into the new courthouse this week and Missouri Vocational Enterprises will be on site this week to finish installing office cubicles. With cubicles completed, Herbst added that court clerks could be moved in the following week.

“May 18 is our target date,” Herbst said. “Judge [Ben] Lewis is coordinating that with the other judges. They have a lot of appearances to do, and I envision them using both courthouses for a couple weeks to try to space folks out while we transition.”

The Commission also approved the City of Jackson to use a courthouse in the new facility twice a month for city court once the building is open. Commissioner Paul Koeper said the City would have to coordinate with the circuit clerk for scheduling, and the City would use its own court staff.

The last remaining touches for completion is a medallion that will go on the exterior of the building, the lettering added in the change order and flagpoles.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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