BCC Assistant Attorney Kelli Lueckert and Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association representatives prepare to open the nursing lounge.
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a pivotal moment in history for the County Courthouse, officials celebrated the completion of a refurbished nursing lounge on the third floor.
The new initiative will offer a private and comfortable space for mothers at the courthouse who need breastfeeding and lactation needs.
The courthouse nursing lounge will give mothers allotted time to pump breast milk, which can take up to three hours in a private setting. Taking the proper amount of time is especially important, considering the American Academy of Pediatrics found children need two years of breastmilk. Now, instead of a sitting in a car or restroom, they can use the lounge, said Kelli Lueckert, Assistant County Attorney.
The room was meticulously planned and is equipped with pumping bags for breastfeeding and lactation and other essential equipment, such as bags for diaper changing, along with comfortable seating and a refrigerator to store milk and other essential items, she said.
“This provides a space mothers can utilize. It can be used by jurors, witnesses, staff or any patrons of the court. They will have access to it, and it will allow them private space to pump and breastfeed,” said Lueckert, who is also immediate past president at the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association.
Lueckert was essential in getting the project completed.
“This project has been near and dear to our hearts. We’re trying to make the (Fourth Judicial Circuit) the first circuit to have a lactation space in each of our courthouses,” she said.
Duval County was first; Clay was second, and Nassau County is working on a lounge, said Kimberly Woods, president of the Women’s Lawyers Association.
Gene Price, County Director of Facilities, underscored the importance of the Nursing Lodge. “This is a small room with huge impacts across the county. I didn’t understand how important this really was at the beginning, but I (came to learn of that) through (communications) with Lueckert,” he said.
Price said the process started with a plan and included approval by the county commission. He said the maintenance team, from electricians to painters, played a crucial role in transforming the space into a safe haven.
Blinds provide privacy, and signage throughout the building shows the direction.