COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County officials Monday broke ground on a new, 238,000-square-foot courthouse in Columbia that will replace the current 175-year-old building.

The new courthouse was designed to include a number of safety improvements, including separate hallways and elevators for prisoners and a large entryway to provide for safety screening.

County Executive Calvin Ball said in a news release the project, which is being completed through a public-private partnership, is the largest capital project in the county’s history.

“Our new courthouse will enhance public safety and security, while also improving sustainability,” he said in the release.

The project is expected to be completed in July 2021.

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