Repairs on new Miss. justice building almost done

Published 12:42 am Sunday, November 9, 2008

Repairs are almost complete at Mississippi’s new Carroll Gartin Justice Building, where a sprinkler malfunction did nearly $3 million in damage three months after the building opened.

The 150 people who work there got off early Friday and will get off two hours early on two more Fridays — Nov. 14 and Dec. 5 — so repair crews can turn off the power and get to work on three weekends of final repairs.

The $38 million building opened in February.

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State Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Smith said Friday that investigators don’t yet know why the fourth-floor sprinkler began spraying in May, inundating the east half of the four-story building.

The architect, Finance and Administration Department, fire marshal’s office and contractors all investigated that question.

The building was closed for a couple of weeks. Crews had to remove carpets and floor molding, and dry about 200 files in the court clerk’s office page by page.

Kym Wiggins, spokeswoman for the Department of Finance and Administration, said insurance is paying for the damage. Insurance has been required on all state buildings since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Wiggins said.

Documents to be filed with the clerk of court during the closures can be brought to the Capitol Police at the front desk. After hours and weekends, documents can be brought to Capitol Police station in the new Capitol Building.

Along with the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the building houses the Supreme Court Clerk, the State Library, the Administrative Office of Courts, the Board of Bar Admissions, the Board of Certified Court Reporters and the Commission on Continuing Legal Education.