MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A new courthouse could be the next thing added to the downtown Huntsville skyline, according to Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

Strong made the announcement at the 2022 State of the County luncheon.

“The time has come for us to build a new Madison County Courthouse, for the 23rd judicial circuit and commission offices,” he said. “The energy costs are just through the roof, and it’s just an inefficient building for today’s time.”

Strong said the commission has met with architects and determined a new building would be more cost-effective. He explained that it would cost upwards of $60 million to renovate the existing courthouse.

“It just doesn’t make sense putting $60-65 million in a building built in 1964… We’re going to look at every option and hopefully bring something before the commission, or multiple options before the commission within the next few months is our hope,” Strong said.

Aside from the courthouse project, the chairman reflected on other accomplishments the county has made in recent months.

“New home starts are at a record high, our education level is second to none, and we have successfully diversified our economy through advanced manufacturing,” he said.

The audience of 700 people was also treated to a nearly 20-minute-long video, highlighting things Strong says he accomplished as commission chairman. Strong is running for the congressional district 5 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He hinted in his address that this would likely be his last State of the County.

Strong said, “It has been my distinct honor to serve these last 26 years. I believe Madison County’s finest hours are still ahead.”