Groundbreaking for new Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Groundbreaking for new Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Another sign of rebuilding in Cedar Rapids Saturday morning; a ground breaking for a new Federal Courthouse.

The city's 1930's era Courthouse was destroyed by floods last summer. But a new building had been in the works prior to the floods.

In 2002 - Congress approved funding for a design - but the project it's self was not funded until the floods forced an emergency relocation of all Courthouse operations. Disaster relief funding helped make the dream of a new courthouse a reality. Saturday's groundbreaking is making a statement that's anchoring downtown Cedar Rapids.

A rainy day couldn't possibly put a damper on this groundbreaking for a brand new $160 million Federal Courthouse in downtown Cedar Rapids.

"It means we're finally gonna have a facility that will provide space and security that will serve the courts for many, many years to come," said Michael Melloy, Appeals Court Judge.

But as dirt flies off theses shovels - on land right next to the river. The new building is making a statement.

"I think it says something about the fact that we're gonna rebuild in downtown Cedar Rapids. We know how to protect the downtown area in the future, we're gonna do that," said Tom Harkin.

"It's a sign that Cedar Rapids is on it's way back," said Melloy.

It's a project that's been 15 years in the making - but it wasn't until the floods destroyed the 90 year old courthouse that the dirt was pushed on the project and the funding.

"The fact that it took a flood to make it happen, we'll take what we can get. But it's really an amazing project that will push this community forward," said Former Cedar Rapids Mayor, Lee Clancey.

Pushing the community forward and continuing to rebuild.

"Being at the south end of downtown, we hope that it will foster some retail down here," said Melloy.

"It will be an anchor for downtown Cedar Rapids. I think it's gonna be an inspiration for business growth in this area," said Harkin.

One more cornerstone of rebuilding a city one brick at a time.

The new eight story building will include five courtrooms and office space for U.S.. Marshals, attorneys, probation and and pre-trial services.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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