Officials, representatives and citizens from all parts of Schuylkill County witnesses Sunday's ground breaking for the new Courthouse Commons, to be built in front of the Schuylkill County Courthouse in Pottsville.

The ground breaking followed a time capsule ceremony in which representatives from various Schuylkill municipalities placed items relating to their municipality into a time capsule which will be buried after the Courthouse Commons is completed.

About 4,500 square feet, the commons will consist of a large public area comprised of tiers of leveled platforms containing commemorative bricks, with the county seal and a map of Schuylkill county, on stone, located in the center.

Speakers during the ground breaking ceremony said the Courthouse Commons project, when complete, will become a gathering place for celebratory or other public functions, student education and a place where visitors can learn about the geography, history and people of Schuylkill County.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2012. Michael McCord, the county register of wills, and co-chairman of the steering committee, mentioned that Oct. 2 was chosen for the ground breaking in remembrance of Oct. 3, 1883, the date the cornerstone of the current courthouse was placed.