Sumner County Courthouse 2

A new five-story Sumner County Courthouse will be built at the corner of East Main Street and South Boyers Avenue in downtown Gallatin. SUBMITTED

A site plan for a proposed new Sumner County courthouse in downtown Gallatin was unanimously approved by the city’s planning commission Monday.

The approximately 46,400-square-foot predominately brick building will be five stories tall and feature decorative arched windows and columns, according to the plans for the project.

It will be built at the corner of East Main Street and South Boyers Avenue next to the Gallatin Public Library and will consolidate all of the county’s courts under one roof once completed.

“I don’t have anything negative to say about this project,” Gallatin Planning Commission Vice Chairman Matt Harris said about the plans during a committee meeting earlier this month. “They did a great job getting it on the site. I’m glad to see it is positioned farther back from the road, so it doesn’t affect the adjacent neighbors. I’m looking forward to seeing this come to Gallatin.”

A height variance to allow the building to be 90-feet-tall was approved by the Gallatin Board of Zoning Appeals last month, according to a staff report from the city’s planning department.

In addition to the courthouse, a new crosswalk will be added directly across from the main entrance to the building on East Main Street as part of the project. Crosswalk improvements will also be made at East Main Street and South Boyers Avenue as well as at South Boyers Avenue and Smith Street.

In 2017, Sumner County commissioners voted to hire Justice Planning Associates to review the county’s criminal justice and court system facilities following several emergency funding requests for building repair projects.

The firm delivered its final report the following year, which recommended construction of a new courthouse along with an expansion of the jail and sheriff’s office and renovation of the existing courthouse in downtown Gallatin.

In December, county leaders voted to issue up to $103.6 million in general obligation schools and public improvements bonds. Of that money, $86.75 million would be used to fund the design, construction and equipping of a new courthouse and separate nearby parking garage.

No estimated timeline for construction of the new courthouse was included with the site plan. Officials involved with the project have previously said it would take approximately two years to build once work begins.