Some of Franklin County’s elected officials ditched their suits and blazers for sneakers and jeans Monday evening for a tour of the Franklin County Judicial Center.
“After all this time seeing it on paper… we’re like kids in a candy store,” Circuit Court Clerk Sally Jump said, as her colleagues went from room to room, trying to imagine what their offices will look like.
“It’s kind of hard to envision,” District Judge Kathy Mangeot said, as she stood inside her future office – now just concrete and steel beams.
“But looking at it from this perspective, you just realize how massive of a building it is.”
Construction manager Bill Bridges of Codell Construction and architect Rick Kremer treated the Project Development Board and a few local judges to a tour of the new $30 million courthouse Monday.
The courthouse, which Codell representatives said will be about 98,000 square feet when complete, won’t be finished until next summer, but Bridges and Kremer explained some of its new features.
They noted an area in the south corner of the lobby that will have a spiral staircase leading to the third floor (“I can’t wait for that,” Jump said).
They also pointed out large spaces in the judges’ chambers that will become nearly floor-to-ceiling windows.
“It’s going to be a gorgeous building,” Mangeot said.
The new courthouse will also have separate elevators, entrances and exits for judges and elected officials, prisoners and the public, a feature the Administrative Office of the Courts mandated. There will also be more “checkpoints” between the lobby and judges’ chambers, Kremer said, to give courtroom officials more security.
After the tour, board members and judges praised Bridges and Kremer for the building’s design and construction progress.
“It’s a very complex project – a lot of big ideas in compact spaces,” Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said. “I think you all did a fine job.”