PENANG: Restoration work on the 101-year-old courthouse in Light Street here is expected to be ready by April next year.
Work on its new three-storey annexe building and seven-storey block across the road is also expected to be completed at the same time.
State Public Works Department (JKR) director Abdullah Abdul Rahman said everything was on schedule and the Federal Government project costing RM85mil was now 43% completed.
Once the Certificate of Fitness (CF) was obtained, the High Courts would move back, he said.
The courts moved out in October 2003.
The annexe within the compound would house the lower courts handling criminal cases, he said.
The seven-storey block next to De-wan Sri Pinang would house a basement carpark, two floors of upper-level car-park and the lower courts handling civil cases, he said in an interview yester- day.
The High Courts and lower courts handling criminal cases are now at Northam Tower in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah while the lower courts handling civil cases are at Wisma MCIS in Argyll Road.
Abdullah said Konsortium Fadil Con-struction Sdn Bhd was the main con-tractor for the new buildings while Najcom Sdn Bhd was responsible for the heritage conservation work on the exis-ting building.
The original date of completion was February 2007.
However, five days after excavation work started on June 10 last year, the project had to be halted when workers unearthed some relics near a buried well at the old carpark.
Abdullah said the contractors were given 52 more days to complete the job. The new completion date is next April.
Najcom director Datuk Najmudeen Kader said the original look of the building would be maintained as much as possible.
He said he had a team of 10 carrying out documentation work and 80 wor-kers to do the job.