GLASGOW – The Barren County Judicial Center Project Development Board will hold a public hearing to discuss the possible acquisition of land for a new Barren County Judicial Center.

The in-person hearing will be at 6 p.m. May 6 in the circuit court room at the Barren County Courthouse. The board anticipates having land proposals for consideration before the hearing.

The date for the hearing was set last week during the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

The board discussed advertising for land proposals but didn’t discuss any specific piece of property. A general location, however, was mentioned.

“We want to try to keep it, if possible, close to downtown,” said Ronnie McFall of the Kentucky Office of the Administrative Courts.

The new judicial center is expected to be a 56,500-square-foot building that will house circuit and district courts, as well as the circuit clerk’s office.

The Kentucky General Assembly allocated funds in 2020 for the project.

The board also decided last week to go with a construction manager over a general contractor for the project.

Board member Rich Alexander asked McFall for a breakdown of current judicial center construction projects that are using construction managers as opposed to general contractors.

“We’ve actually only got four projects going right now, and two are under construction. They are all four CMs, but there’s pros and cons to either,” McFall said. “Either one will give you a good building. It’s just however you all want to go.”

Barren County Judge-Executive Michael Hale said his gut reaction would be to go with a construction manager.

“To me, when you just hire a general contractor, they are just going to sub it out and they are kind of the middle man. I don’t really look at the construction manager as the middle guy. That’s just me,” he said. “A lot of times I feel like if we get the right construction manager and they’ve got really good communicating skills, and I mean we have those folks here locally, I think that will work in our advantage.”

The board agreed to advertise for construction managers for the project with plans to grade the proposals during the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting in May. It will then interview construction managers for the project at a subsequent meeting.