Six decades after it was built, and more than 20 years after Suwanee’s administrative offices moved out of it, the town’s first City Hall is about to get bigger.
The building, which is located at 323 Buford Highway and now houses Suwanee’s municipal court, is set to undergo an expansion to accommodates the needs of the court. City officials broke ground on the expansion project this past week.
“Our goal in Suwanee is to provide quality customer service when it comes to city amenities,” Suwanee Municipal Court Judge Norman Cuadra said. “By expanding our court facilities, we will be able to create an efficient, comfortable, and productive environment that will allow our court participants to easily navigate their business with the Municipal Court.”
The building holds special significance to Suwanee because it used to be City Hall. In, fact the 60-year old building was the city’s original City Hall, according to town leaders.
It harkens back to a time when Suwanee was a much smaller city, before Gwinnett began to experience a population boom.
In 1970 — 11 years after the original City Hall building was erected and 21 years after the city was founded — Suwanee had a population of 615 people, according to the city’s website. It had an estimated population of 20,569 as of last summer, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
It has been more than 20 years since the building served as a city hall, however. Suwanee’s administration moved to the town’s second City Hall in 1997 and the current City Hall at the Suwanee Town Center opened in 2009, according to the city’s website.
As part of the expansion project, new space will be added for the Suwanee police department’s Special Enforcement Unit, the work space for the court clerk will more than double and the lobby will be expanded to accommodate larger crowds of people arriving for court.
Construction is expected to be completed in early 2020.
In the meantime, the court has moved to temporary spaces. Court sessions will be held at the current City Hall, located at 330 Town Center Avenue, while day-to-day court operations are moving to the Suwanee Police Department, located at 373 Buford Highway.
“For those attending court for the first time, the expansion will help ease the anxiety that comes with the stress of court proceedings, by use of space, accessibility and technology,” Cuadra said.