Case Study: Moving Sensitive Court Materials with Special Care

High-security relocation of Broward County courthouse. Challenge: The Broward County CourthouseHigh-security relocation of Broward County courthouse

Challenge

The Broward County Courthouse Construction Management Division needed a partner to relocate 77 courtrooms to a new $345 million courthouse space nearly twice the size. The existing space had been in use for nearly 60 years and contained extensive files and highly-sensitive documents needing special care. The project required an experienced commercial mover who could furnish all labor, materials, equipment, services and incidentals.

A high-level of supervision and security was necessary given the historic nature of the building and the sensitive materials being handled, including case evidence from the State Attorney’s office. Each crew member had to be cleared daily going in and out of the building, as well as when getting onto elevators.

Solution

Suddath® Workplace Solutions solved the unique challenge of this project—that no items could leave the building—by utilizing a 1,000-foot pedestrian sky bridge to move all items and forego the usual method of truck transportation. The crew had to be coordinated and properly positioned to be able to transport all items across in a timely manner. In total, the equivalent of 70 trailer loads of furniture alone were manually pushed across the bridge.

“Most moves involve multiple trucks and loading,” said Nick Christian, Suddath VP, South Florida. “This move used considerably more manpower because of the proximity to the old courthouse.”

Coordination and communication were key priorities, as special consideration had to be given to moving the innumerable amount of sensitive materials from the evidence room. The bulk of these items were illegal contraband or weapons and had to be relocated after midnight with police escorts.

“The team worked directly with judges, judge’s assistants, general contractors and city officials, and meetings were held on a daily basis,” said Christian.

During the project, the Fort-Lauderdale airport suffered a mass shooting. As a government building, the courthouse was put on lockdown in the wake of these incidents, and all work stopped as the crew was ordered to immediately evacuate the building. Going forward, heightened security measures had to be considered. The Suddath team remained flexible and adaptable, recalibrating efforts to stay on schedule despite the additional security protocols.

Due to unanticipated construction delays the courthouse also needed a large facility to store its furniture. Because of our scalability, size and strength, Suddath provided the storage space required for their new furniture at our 120,000 square-foot Fort-Lauderdale warehouse with limited notice. This saved the client a significant amount of money, which they would have incurred had they not selected a partner, that could provide the capacity they needed at a moment’s notice.

Results

Throughout the project, the crew successfully moved roughly one million pounds of furniture, as well as 4,000 crates and 500 boxes of courthouse employee items. The team was also able to do over 150 computer disconnect and reconnects per night for courthouse employees.

“The project was scheduled to take almost a year, and the team knocked it out of the park” said Christian. “The county was impressed with the effectiveness and efficiency of our project management and was particularly pleased with the level of communication and engagement we provided them.”

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Location

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Key Services

  • Office Moving
  • Computer disconnect and reconnect
  • Fine-tuned furniture installation
  • Decommission of existing furniture

The Facts

  • 1,000 Employees moved
  • 77 Courtrooms
  • 1MM Pounds of furniture
  • 4,000 Crates
  • 70 Trailer loads of furniture