Ground breaking held for new $196 billion federal courthouse in Nashville

Oct 1, 2018

Nashville Church Street federal courthouse construction site overview Oct. 1, 2018.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  They’ve started moving dirt at the Church Street site of the new $194 million Nashville federal courthouse.

An official groundbreaking was held Friday, but so far work has been limited to demolition of existing buildings, a bit of excavation, and installation of sewer lines.

The General Services Administration says design work for the new 280,000 gross square feet courthouse won’t be finished until this coming spring. They hope to have the facility finished by early in 2021.

Steven C. Smith is the Washington D.C. based GSA project manager for construction. He told WMOT last year that a number of security features are being built into the facility, including what he describes as a “curtain wall” that will stand along the building's curved front entrance facing Church and 7th Streets.

“We try to do it in a way that it doesn’t make our buildings look like fortresses. It’s kind of all behind the scenes, whether it’s blast resistant or whatever the requirements are.” 

The new federal building will include eight courtrooms and chambers for eleven judges. A number of federal agencies will also make the facility their mid-state home.

“The U.S. District Court, the U.S. Probation, the U.S. Marshall’s Service, obviously, the Office of the U.S. Attorney, the General Service Administration, …and potentially members of Congress.”

If you’d like to get an occasional update on the project, browse by the website

The new Nashville federal courthouse will be named for the late attorney, actor, politician and Tennessean Fred Thompson.