- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Officials say the Livingston Parish 911 Communications Center will move into the new parish courthouse following its completion in early October.

Sheriff Jason Ard tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1fycvZf ) on Thursday the move from its facility in Satsuma to a 3,500-square-foot space on the third floor of the new courthouse will allow the 911 center to upgrade its work space while offering added security for the new building.

Ard, who serves on the 911 communications district board, said the 911 center personnel would be able to provide round-the-clock monitoring of security cameras planned for installation in the new courthouse building.

The security cameras are not included in the $19 million cost for the new courthouse, but the building’s design includes the infrastructure necessary for adding them, said Jay Labarre, of Labarre Associates.

Even without the cameras, the three-story, 110,000-square-foot building in Livingston will be a tremendous improvement in security over the current courthouse, Labarre said following a tour of the construction site Thursday.

The existing courthouse is a 54,000-square-foot maze of rooms and expansions cobbled together since the building’s initial construction in 1941.

Phillip Kern, Labarre’s vice president of architecture, said the new building’s layout will be much more intuitive for visitors, with courtrooms, restrooms, hallways, offices and other spaces located in the same place on each floor.

Employees will have a separate entrance while special holding areas have been designed to keep inmates from crossing paths with the public, Labarre said.

The building will include five courtrooms on three floors, a separate juror space to make sequestration more manageable, as well as office space for the Clerk of Court’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and judges’ chambers.

The project is being funded primarily through $17.2 million in revenue bonds backed by increased filing fees at the Clerk of Court’s Office.

The agencies occupying the building also agreed to contribute a total of $1.8 million, with each agency’s contribution being in proportion to the amount of space it will use.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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