Mont. Federal Courthouse On Schedule, Budget
(05/03/2011)

BILLINGS, Mont. The new federal courthouse project in downtown Billings is on schedule and on budget, according to officials with the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of the project.

The $59 million facility is scheduled for completion in late 2012. Insulated precast concrete panels are being installed, which will allow the building to save energy and in turn contribute to its pursuit of LEED Gold certification.

Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction is the general contractor on the project and several smaller companies are carrying out subcontracting work.

Once finished, the courthouse will house the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorneys Office and the U.S. Marshals Service, which currently work out of the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse in Billings. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation, which also operate out of Battin, will move into a second federal building that has yet to begin construction.

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The Battin courthouse may be sold, demolished, or transferred to local government agencies. The building contains large quantities of asbestos, however, making renovation a costly and unlikely option.

Mike Owens, GSAs regional recovery executive, said the agency hopes to complete both buildings at the same time. The GSA plans to announce the location of the second facility -  which could be a new or existing building - this summer.

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