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Moves free up space for courts, administration

LAWRENCEVILLE - On the same day officials cut a ribbon on a new courthouse for the county, commissioners approved two contracts worth nearly $4 million to redesign a former shopping center for government use.

The moves Tuesday will free up space at the crowded Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, a 500,000-square-foot edifice that opened in 1988.

Crews will reroof the former Wal-Mart along Grayson Highway and convert the space into storage facilities, Voter Registration and Elections offices and offices for the environmental health department.

Later, a portion of the building will be renovated to house the Lawrenceville health clinic.

Last year, shortly after the county completed the purchase, the building was used as a one-stop service center for victims of Hurricane Katrina who traveled to metro Atlanta.

Chief Recorder's Court Judge Stan Jones and Chief Juvenile Court Judge Robert Rodatus celebrated the opening of the new facility for Recorder's and Juvenile courts.

In 1988, the two worked on the first court case held in the justice center - Jones as the county solicitor and Rodatus as a Recorder's Court judge.