New courtrooms being built at Kirkcaldy Police Station are on track to open for business in April.
Two modern criminal facilities and custody cells are being installed at a cost of £3.7 million at the police station in St Brycedale Avenue.
Initially it was anticipated the new extension could be ready by October last year, but the completion date has since slipped to this coming spring.
It has been mooted that the project could pave the way for a justice centre on one site, and the closure of the existing sheriff court building in Whytescauseway.
However, when contacted by The Courier last week, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) said the sheriff court building would remain open, with cases heard at both locations.
Meanwhile, the Justice of the Peace Court across the road from the police station will close.
A spokesman for SCTS said: “The creation of the new courtrooms will improve efficiency and flexibility in managing day to day business increasing the number of courtrooms and providing improved accommodation for court users, including victims, witnesses and jurors.
“The new complex will open for business in April. The existing Justice of the Peace Court annexe will close and will be offered for sale on the open market at a convenient point.”
A planning application has been submitted for the next stage of work which involves removing four chimneys from the roof of the police station, which was built just after the Victorian era in 1902 and initially served as the Burgh Buildings. Listed building consent will be required to allow the project to continue.
Old metal gates at the main door will also be removed.
It is the first time the town’s court facilities have been given a major overhaul in nearly 40 years. Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, which was opened in May 1894, was extended in 1982.
The court service plans to occupy part of the ground floor and first floor of the police station building, with the police using the remaining southern part of the building as well as the existing cell block to the rear.
The new court facilities will comprise two courtrooms, interview rooms, sheriff’s chambers, jury muster and retiring rooms, witness rooms, custody cells and ancillary toilet and storage accommodation.
One court will use the former Burgh Hall at first floor level and another – the duty court – is being created on the ground floor by amalgamating rooms currently used as the police recreation room, canteen and kitchen.
Part of the small rear courtyard at the building will be used for a ground-floor extension with six custody cells and interview rooms.