New Northampton Courthouse will open in June

Published 5:05 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

JACKSON – While the building is completed, there are still a few more finishing touches left before Northampton County’s new courthouse facility opens to the public.

Assistant County Manager Itia Robertson told the News Herald that courthouse personnel are expected to move to their new location in June. She explained that the changeover was delayed because they were waiting on the state to install the required IT (Information Technology) system for courthouse operations.

The new courthouse is a 27,400 sq. ft. building located at 128 East Jefferson Street, Jackson, next to the State Employee’s Credit Union. It houses two courtrooms (for District and Superior Court) along with several offices for courthouse personnel and a multipurpose room, which can be utilized by the public.

It will replace the old courthouse which has been in operation since 1858. That building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which limited the kinds of renovations that could be done to the building. As such, a number of safety concerns and other issues could not be addressed without moving to a new building.

The cost of construction of the new courthouse was covered by a $14 million appropriation from the state’s budget in 2021.

A ribbon-cutting celebration for the new facility was held in February. Several officials spoke during the event, including Superior Court Judge Cy Grant, NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby, NC Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe, and US Congressman Don Davis.

Laquitta Green Cooper, Northampton County’s Clerk of Court, said at the ribbon cutting event that the courthouse isn’t just for criminals. It serves citizens who come to handle a loved one’s estate or to sign adoption papers or to work out child support or any number of other services provided by the court system. And she emphasized that the new courthouse will ensure that both visitors and staff remain safe.

Meanwhile, construction has already begun on an annex building to be located beside the new courthouse. The county received a $5 million federal appropriation for the construction of that facility.

Once completed, the annex is expected to house a number of county offices, including administration, the finance department, Register of Deeds, and the tax department.

Robertson told the News Herald that the annex construction is expected to be completed in February 2025.