MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — The grand opening of Mobile’s new federal courthouse brought several dignitaries from Washington to town, including the Attorney General.
“Rule of law is one of the greatest jewels in this nation’s crown,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said admiring the beauty of the building on St. Joseph Street. “It is proper that a courthouse of the United States of America look like one.”
It was a homecoming for Sessions who once worked as US Attorney across the street at the old courthouse, now 80 years old.
“My gosh the building next door is even older than some of us,” quipped 84-year-old Alabama Senator Richard Shelby.
The new building is state of the art. It has six new courtrooms and the latest security measures.
It cost just over 100 million dollars. Alabama’s junior senator, Doug Jones, another former US attorney, said the cost was well worth it.
“All of the things that go on in a courthouse, whether you are a prosecutor’s, a defense lawyer, a plaintiff, a defendant, a judge, a magistrate, a worker in the clerk’s office or the probation office. What happens in these buildings is incredibly important. It’s incredibly important not to just this community but to America,” Jones said.
The old courthouse will now see 18 million-dollars in renovations. The refurbished building will house federal bankruptcy courts, probation offices, appeals offices and congressional offices. It should be ready by April 2020.
The façade of the new courthouse is made of Alabama limestone cut from the same quarry in Russellville that produced the limestone for the old courthouse eight decades ago.