Over the past month, the new unified courthouse on Church Street has started to take shape in a rough skeleton of girders. By this time next year, the state hopes to be furnishing the completed building in preparation for a March 2019 opening.

The new courthouse will replace both the current District and Superior courts. The three-story, 37,000-square-foot building is on schedule for completion Jan. 31, 2019, according to Jeffrey Henthorn, director of court facilities for Maine Judicial Branch.

Henthorn noted that the winning bid, from Augusta-based general contractor Ganneston Construction Corp., came in about $3.5 million less than the state's original $17 million estimate.