SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Two Texas senators and four San Antonio area congressman were on hand to join local officials in breaking ground for a new San Antonio federal courthouse Monday afternoon.

Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Representatives Chip Roy, Will Hurd, Henry Cuellar and Lloyd Doggett were on hand.  For the city, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and council members Roberto Trevino, Rebecca Viagran, Rey Saldana and Shirley Gonzales attended the ceremony.  Bexar County judge Nelson Wolff was also in attendance.

The $144.5 million federal courthouse will replace the John H. Wood, Jr., U.S. Courthouse.

“The Wood Courthouse has kept the Western District going for nearly 50 years, but unfortunately it does not have the capacity to support it any longer,” Cuellar said. “The project to build a new courthouse was deserving of emergency appropriations because of the building’s numerous problems: the building’s water quality, air quality, space, safety and security issues go beyond simple repairs. It is great to see progress being made on the construction of the new courthouse, which will transform the community and allow the Western District to meet growing jurisdictional demand.”

“Today’s groundbreaking not only represents the start of a new courthouse but the start of a legacy of safety, community, and justice for generations,” Cornyn stated. “As we watch this facility rise from the ground up, let it serve as a reminder to all of us that with a little bipartisanship and a lot of perseverance, we can move mountains for the people of San Antonio.”

Cornyn also laid some praise on two members of Congress in particular.

“But Henry [Cuellar] was a guy on the Appropriations Committee, he had the checkbook, and he’s had firsthand experience in moving mountains. And I can’t think of a tougher advocate for San Antonio than Will [Hurd], and they made that happen together with all of us working with the entire Texas delegation in the Senate and the House.”

The new courthouse on W. Nueva will feature eight courtrooms and 13 chambers.  It will also house the U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. Clerk of the Court, U.S. Magistrate Courts, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, Federal Public Defender and the General Services Administration.

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