DOWNTOWN Ground broken for new home for 7th District Appeals Court

The two-story $3.8 million building should open next year.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The renaissance of downtown Youngstown continued with ground being broken for the new 7th District Court of Appeals building on West Federal Street.
Rainy and chilly weather Wednesday did not stop about 60 people from gathering at the site of the new court building for the ceremony.
Jason T. Whitehead, executive director of the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp., the downtown's redevelopment agency, said the building "allows the court to provide better services to the counties they serve."
Change for the better
G. Richard Pavlock, YCACIC president, said the new facility adds to the rejuvenation of the central business district, a rejuvenation that began with construction of the George V. Voinovich Government Center and continued with the recently completed Mahoning County Children Services Building.
He also thanked the appellate judges for "remaining committed to staying in Youngstown."
Judge Gene Donofrio of the appellate court said the project truly was worth waiting for.
"This was an eight-year odyssey [looking] for a permanent home for the highest court in an eight-county area," he said. "This is an example of what can be done when state, county and city officials work together."
Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Regional Chamber and a CIC staff member, said, "Construction of the new 7th District Court of Appeals Facility continues the renaissance of downtown Youngstown."
The CIC plans to build a two-story, 13,200-square-foot facility in the block of West Federal Street between the vacant Kress Building and First Educators Investment Corp. The court's address will be 131 W. Federal St.
Whitehead said the project will cost $3.8 million.
The CIC will use money from an investment program through the county treasurer's office as well as funds county commissioners borrow through the sale of bonds.
Welty Building Co. of Akron, along with Ricciuti Balog & amp; Partners of Youngstown, will build the facility. Hanahan-Strollo & amp; Associates of Youngstown served as architect and project consultant.
Barring any complications, the court building should be ready in 2006.
CIC holds lease
The CIC will maintain the building and lease it to the county, which is responsible for providing office space and a courtroom.
The county will pay off the lease using revenue it receives from the other seven counties that belong to the 7th Appellate District. Those counties are Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Noble and Monroe.
Each county contributes toward the cost of the court's operation. Mahoning, as the largest county, pays about 45 percent of the cost.
On hand for the ceremony were retired appellate court judges Joseph Donofrio and Edward A. Cox and current judges Joseph J. Vukovich, Cheryl L. Waite and Mary DeGenaro.