Major repairs to the historical federal courthouse building in downtown Wilmington could be complete by 2024, federal officials said this week.
Demolition, construction and preservation work to the Alton Lennon Federal Building and Courthouse will soon get underway with a completion date anticipated for the summer of 2024, officials with the project said during the Wilmington City Council agenda briefing on Monday.
The early 1900s federal courthouse building was severely damaged by wind, rain and flooding in September 2018, when Hurricane Florence hit the region.
This spring, a $31 million federal contract was awarded to Alabama-based Brasfield & Gorrie LLC for repair and preservation work. Congress implemented funding for the project through the Disaster Recovery Act of 2019.
Officials with the project said Monday that the scope of work "will be touching almost the entire building."
The work will include roof replacement, window replacement and masonry repairs, as well as replacing building mechanical systems and making repairs to the interior finishes.
Fencing has been placed around the site and activity is beginning at the courthouse building as crews work through demolition and construction. Construction work will increase at the site over the next couple of months, officials said.
Tenants have been temporarily relocated. Major tenants of the building include the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Federal officials with the project have been coordinating with other projects happening in the downtown area near the courthouse, including bulkhead repairs at the former site of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence along the Wilmington riverfront.
"For nearly 100 years before Hurricane Florence, the Alton Lennon Federal Building and Courthouse stood as a symbol of justice for the people of Wilmington, who are eager to see their courthouse repaired," said Kevin Kerns, public buildings service regional commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Southeast Sunbelt Region, in an April news release.
He added, “Repairing such a historic building takes time and finesse, and we’re grateful for the community's support as we move forward on this project."