Jon Melvin, Delaware County facilities director, has been giving tours of the interior of the new judicial building on Sandusky Street in Delaware as construction is being completed.
Melvin said the completion date of the building was pushed back to July 31 because of a combination of bad weather and a labor shortage. Lendlease officials, construction management, have repeatedly reported to county commissioners of the labor shortages since early last year.
Melvin said he didn’t expect any other setbacks pushing the completion date back any further. The original date for completion was June 30.
County officials and employees moving into the building have been in regular attendance on Melvin’s tours.
“The 300 level is the most finished,” Melvin said to the 10-15 people gathered for the Friday afternoon tour. “They are working their way up the floors.” The floors above the 300 level aren’t as close to completion, said Melvin.
Part of the tour group was newly elected Clerk of Courts Natalie Fravel who took a look at her new office space. The level will house the Clerk of Courts Office, grand jury space, adult court services and public parking.
The 400 level is to house the new Domestic Relations Court with four hearing rooms and a courtroom. The public hallways have floor to ceiling windows with a view of the Hayes building to the north and Delaware to the east.
On each floor Melvin spoke of a recurring theme of the possibilities of future expansion.
“This will be Judge Fuller’s floor pretty much,” Melvin said. “It’s intended for future growth if we add another general division judge.”
Judge Randall Fuller was sworn in Dec. 28 to preside over the newly formed court.
The 500 level is to house courtrooms and magistrate spaces with separate mediation spaces for attorneys to speak in confidentiality with clients. It like the 400 level has floor to ceiling windows with just as spectacular a view with one exception. The floor looks down at the Hayes building showing the new building is a little taller.
Melvin said each level has in-custody defendant holding areas with a designated elevator away from public areas for better security.
“The key to security is keeping everything separate,” Melvin said. “The prisoner elevator goes all the way down to the holding cells.”
Once completed, the $38 million, 94,450 square-foot building will have plazas between the Hayes Building and the main entrance with two levels of underground parking, with the lowest level for staff and the public, along with security screening equipment.
Regarding security, “There are 165 cameras in the building,” Melvin said.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.
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