Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner and Trial Court Administrator Kim Miller

Court, county leaders break ground on new court facility

“It was a long time coming,” is how Twelfth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner described the process for getting a new court facility. Judge Bonner, Trial Court Administrator Kim Miller, and Senior Deputy Court Administrator Alana Monge attended the official groundbreaking ceremony this morning on the site of the new court building in Venice.

Judges and court staff, along with the staff of three other constitutional officers, have crowded into the existing R.L. Anderson Building. The courts have simply outgrown the provided space on the second floor. Additionally, the old building, which was not designed to be a courthouse, presents security challenges for the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department, who is responsible for the safety of the building, its occupants and visitors.

The population is booming in the area that we affectionately refer to as “South County,” Judge Bonner said. “It’s not fair to expect citizens to drive 20 miles to pay a traffic ticket. We need to make sure everyone has the same access to the courts” whether they live in Sarasota, Venice or North Port, she said.

County leaders worked hard to incorporate low-impact design into the new two-story court building that will feature four courtrooms and office space Court Administration staff and Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller staff. Designers thought about future growth and included in the plans expansion room for additional courtrooms.

Judge Bonner thanked the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners for keeping an open mind and considering the needs of the court and the citizens. She thanked the judges, the Sarasota County Bar Association, especially the South County division, and the legal community in Sarasota County for helping make the new building a reality.

Once the courts vacate the second floor of the existing building, the space will be reorganized and renovated to provide various court-related and general government services.

To learn more about the new court building in Venice, please bookmark Sarasota County Government’s Capital Projects webpage where you can view project phases and details.

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