Justice Center Project

 

justice_center_invite_web_graphic.jpgHistorically in North Carolina, the County Courthouse or Justice Center has been the most prominent and highly used public building in each County. As Wake County continues to draw new residents, the new Justice Center will serve as this prominent place for a growing population to participate in the judicial system, access public records and engage in local government activities.
 
 
View images and renderings.

When the new Justice Center opens in July 2013, it will contain approximately 577,000 SF of space within an 11-story structure. This high rise building will have 18 new courtrooms, and associated support spaces, with the capacity to add 4 additional courtrooms in the future. It will also provide public meeting space for the Board of Commissioners and administrative space for the County View the location.Manager, County Attorney, Finance and Budget Operations, Register of Deeds, Revenue/Assessor and various other support spaces. The Justice Center is designed to enable the County to meet the Judicial needs of the Tenth Judicial District for the next 40–50 years.

The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2013 (see project timeline).

 

Select a topic to learn more about the Wake County Justice Center:

1 Why does Wake County need a new Justice Center/courthouse?
2 Why do Wake County court officials need a new courthouse?
3 How will the citizens of Wake County benefit from this new facility?
4 Where will the new Justice Center be located?
5 How will downtown traffic be affected?
6 Will the new courthouse feature better security for the public, staff and inmates?
7 What impact will the new Justice Center have on the environment?
8 How much will the new Justice Center cost?
9 What are the various square footages of the floors in the proposed Justice Center?



1.  Why does Wake County need a new Justice Center/courthouse?

 

 

State law requires each N.C. county to provide justice facilities that effectively meet the needs of its citizens. Those needs address a rapid increase in the County's population and growing demands on the courts and county services. The new Wake County Justice Center is designed to expand the County’s current justice capabilities, including day-to-day criminal court and clerk of court functions, and to provide for public records and County administration offices and the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room. The new Justice Center will serve the County’s needs for at least the next 30 to 50 years.

 

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2.  Why do Wake County court officials need a new courthouse?

In 2000, court filings in Wake County totaled 169,000; in 2030, they are projected to total 391,000. As the County’s population continues to increase, the number of arrests and criminal and civil cases per year will increase. This results in larger judicial caseloads and, depending on the complexity, additional time for judges to dispose of them. As disposition time increases, there is also an extension of pretrial incarceration. This creates additional challenges considering the fact that overcrowding in some of the County jails at times exceeds capacity by 50%.

The number of judges and administrative staff will also increase to meet the functional needs of our fast-growing county. Space requirements for the courts are projected to increase from 300,000 sq. ft. in the existing courthouse to a total of more than 600,000 sq. ft. by 2030. The new Justice Center will provide the additional space needed.

The proximity of the two courthouses in downtown Raleigh helps maximize efficiency for victims, court judges, Clerk of Court, attorneys, law enforcement, families, individual citizens and courthouse security.

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3.  How will the citizens of Wake County benefit from this new facility?

The new Wake County Justice Center will efficiently accommodate the growth in the County and the increased daily traffic in the court system and other public records operations. The attractive new Justice Center will have the capacity for 22 new criminal courtrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as more space for court support, such as the Clerk of Court and Public Defender. The Justice Center will increase facilities and access to public records, including the Register of Deeds, Geographic Information Services mapping and Revenue/Property Assessment information. The new Center also includes a new County Commissioners’ Meeting Room and County administrative offices that will open to the public. The new Justice Center and the Davie Street parking decks will provide space for 1,160 vehicles.

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4.  Where will the new Justice Center be located?

The new Wake County Justice Center will be located in downtown Raleigh at the intersections of Martin, Salisbury and McDowell streets beside the John H. Baker, Jr. Public Safety Center.

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5.  How will downtown traffic be affected?

As can be expected with construction, traffic flow around the site will be affected at certain times. The design and construction teams, as well as public safety officials, will work with local media to provide construction updates to help the public maneuver around the site with as much ease as possible. Every effort will be made to ensure that the general public, court officials and staffs are inconvenienced as little as possible.

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6.  Will the new courthouse feature better security for the public, staff and inmates?

The Wake County Justice Center will have significant upgrades in both technology and security. Security features will include: secure corridors under constant control, x-ray security screening, metal detectors, trained staff on post, camera systems monitoring the building, weapons checks, emergency duress buttons and card access control.

As the new Justice Center will house all criminal courtrooms, the public and inmates will be kept separate at all times. New elevator systems will be constructed to provide improved movement for court officials, staff and the general public. The inmate population will be moved without interaction with the general public, court officials or staff.  A total of 17 elevators are included.  In addition, escalators will provide access between floors 1-3.

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7.  What impact will the new Justice Center have on the environment?

The new Justice Center will feature many environmental benefits.  The building will seek to become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, meaning it will be environmentally responsible, energy-efficient and a healthy place for staff and the public. 

To help secure LEED certification, the new Justice Center is being designed, constructed and eventually operated with several environmentally friendly features, including good erosion-control practices, basic pollution prevention, water efficiency with all systems, refrigerant management, storage and collection of recyclables, improved indoor air quality, safer building construction materials and products, use of natural daylight versus powered light, use of recycled storm water for irrigation, bike racks and digitally controlled thermostats.

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8.  How much will the new Justice Center cost?

The new Justice Center is one of five projects within an overall criminal justice system upgrade for Wake County. Construction on the Justice Center began in 2009 with a projected occupancy date of spring 2013, at a cost of $187.7 million.  See the PROJECT COST SUMMARY for more details.

 

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9.  What are the various square footages of the floors and their use in the proposed Justice Center?

The Project square footage summary is as follows:
The various floors are designated for the uses shown on the  file. 

Justice Center
Criminal Courthouse

335,596 SF

Public Records/Admin.    

104,590 SF

Below Grade Levels (2)    

136,810 SF

Justice Center Total

576,996 SF



Floor/Level

Public Records/Administration

Judicial/Criminal Courts

11th Floor

 

18,774 SF

10th Floor

 

22,898 SF

9th Floor

 

24,517 SF

8th Floor

 

24,474 SF

7th Floor

 

24,487 SF

6th Floor

 

24,571 SF

5th Floor

 

34,093 SF

4th Floor

27,008 SF

24,377 SF

3rd Floor

25,721 SF

41,659 SF

2nd Floor

28,103 SF

41,312 SF

Ground Level

23,758 SF

54,434 SF

Underground Level 1

25,961 SF

25,961 SF

Underground Level 2

29,864 SF

55,024 SF

Total Square Footage

160,415 SF

416,581 SF

Grand Total Sq. Footage

 

576,996 SF


The various floors are designated for the uses shown on the FLOOR DESIGNATIONS file.

 

 

 

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