The judges who will be using the new Delaware County courthouse got to hear from the project’s architect and builder at a meeting Monday.
“We are nearing 100 percent completion of the drawings and specifications from our office,” said Tom Potts of Silling Architects at a Delaware County Commission session Monday. “We have gone through a long process, but we are at a point where we are ready to turn over the drawings and specifications for purposes of construction.”
There were more than 200 drawings, Potts said, so he showed a PowerPoint presentation that included floor plans and drawings of the finished courthouse.
The $38 million, 82,000 square-foot, five-story building, with plazas between the Hayes Building and the main entrance, will have two levels of underground parking, with the lowest level for staff and the public, along with security screening equipment; with the second level parking for staff and separate in-custody defendant delivery. The third story houses the Clerk of Courts Office, grand jury space, adult court services and public parking. The fourth and fifth stories house courtrooms, hearing and mediation spaces. There are in-custody defendant holding areas on all five stories for security purposes.
In addition to making the building safe, the design also had to pass muster.
“We worked very hard at satisfying the Historic Preservation Commission of the city of Delaware,” Potts said. “We had a number of meetings between April and July (2015) to get their requirements.” The commission twice approved the plans, because cost estimates changed the appearance.
“We had to make some cuts, so what you’re seeing is the second go-round,” Potts said. “It’s toned down a little bit. We lost a lot of glass. We reduced the types of finishes, but not the durability.”
In response to a question, Potts said the south side of the courthouse was designed with future expansion in mind.
The purpose of the meeting was to pass a resolution in favor of the plans and costs for the courthouse which, by state law, requires a majority vote from seven people — the three county commissioners, Clerk of Courts Jan Antonoplos, Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger, Juvenile/Probate Court Judge David Hejmanowski and Sheriff Russell Martin. However, no action was taken because Commissioner Jeff Benton said he had a lot of questions that couldn’t be answered before the regular bi-weekly commissioners’ meeting that immediately followed, and Martin wasn’t present. They agreed to meet again next week.