A new $28 million York County Family Court building under construction in Rock Hill is expected to be finished by February 2019 and could be ready for cases a few months later.
The court building is planned on county property behind the Heckle Boulevard county office complex, with a second entrance off West Main Street.
York County voters approved the building in late 2015 as part of an $89.8 million York County bond package.
“We often deal with people at the lowest points in their lives,” said Family Court judge David Guyton. “We desperately need a new courthouse to increase security, allow for growth and help with our technology.”
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The 75,000-square-foot building is expected to provide enough courtroom space for a future backlog of cases to Family Court dockets because of a South Carolina law passed in 2016. The law directs accused 17-year-old offenders to Family Court, instead of Circuit Court.
According to 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, the new law would go into effect in 2019.
York County Council member Christi Cox thanked York County voters who approved the project.
“If there’s ever been a building project that needed to be done in this county, it was this one,” Cox said. “They said it was time for us to update our facilities, provide safe and secure court facilities to serve our public and to meet the growing needs of the county.”
Clerk of Court David Hamilton said the Family Court has seen a 37 percent increase in cases since the 1980s. He said the 2010 Census proves that York County is the state’s second-fastest growing county.
Family Court judge Tony Jones said the new building will be “the finest standalone family court in the state of South Carolina.”