Mayor touts new federal courthouse in Huntsville as a ‘legacy’

April 4, 2018 by  

A new federal courthouse to replace the outdated current one has is now possible due to an appropriation of $110m for that purpose in the Omnibus Funding Bill signed Friday by the president.

Sen. Richard Shelby is credited by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle with obtaining the funding, calling the construction of a replacement federal courthouse a ‘legacy project’ that will shape the face of downtown Huntsville for decades. Battle said the senator had championed the project for around a decade.

In 2013, a five-acre site was obtained by the city to replace the present structure, which was built in 1936. The downtown location, at the corner of Lowe and Gallatin, was the former Mental Health Center site. The current federal courthouse here is at the corner of Jefferson and Holmes and was originally constructed to be a post office. It still contains a WPA mural in what is now the primary courtroom.

The fate of the current courthouse building, once the new one is up and running, is unclear. According to Kelly Schrimsher, a spokesperson for the mayor, the community will be involved in determining a new use for the historic structure. Options include advertising a series of public meeting for stakeholders to come up with ideas. Often, printing services are employed to create flyers with suggested options that the public can vote on.