Chamber of Commerce Tours New Jefferson City Courthouse

U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey and Members of the Chamber of Commerce
U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey and
members of the Chamber of Commerce

On a blustery October afternoon, U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey hosted tours of the new Jefferson City Courthouse for members of the Chamber of Commerce. The event was initiated by attorney Michael Berry as part of the Federal Practice Committee’s community outreach efforts, and Berry worked closely with the Chamber, the Clerk’s Office and Project Manager Brad Luecke to organize the tours and an educational presentation about the court. The new courthouse sits directly across the street from the historic Missouri State Penitentiary, and prior to the tours, over 100 business people gathered in the oldest standing housing unit on the penitentiary site. In an open house format, visitors were treated to hors d’oeuvres and refreshments courtesy of the Chamber. Judge Laughrey then updated the community leaders on the construction timeline and other topics of interest for the Western District’s Central Division.

As the tours ran in shifts, guests who waited their turn continued to visit and to hear comments on the history of the penitentiary from Charles Brzuchalski, Senior Project Manager for the state of Missouri. Donning their required hard hats, those on the tours started with a walk around the first floor of the courthouse, which will house various government offices, the jury terrace, and the Clerk’s, Pretrial and Probation Offices. Next, the tours moved to the third-floor where participants visited one of the magistrate courtrooms and chambers. The highlight of the tour was the third-floor terrace view overlooking the Missouri River. Construction remains on schedule for building completion in July 2011 with the court’s actual move from the downtown post office location set for September.

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