Johnson County Government today presented schematic design renderings of its new county courthouse to the Board of County Commissioners.
The designs were shown during a committee of the whole presentation. Commissioners were updated on the project’s goals, design process, site and building design, construction timeline, budget and next steps.
“In 2016, Johnson County voters gave approval for this important investment in the present and future needs of our community,” said Chairman Ed Eilert. “With an ever-growing population, the new Johnson County Courthouse will meet the community’s needs for many years to come, providing a safer, more efficient and accessible facility for our residents.”
The seven-story courthouse will be approximately 320,000 square feet with 28 courtrooms, expandable to 36 courtrooms in the future.
“This facility will resolve key issues with the existing courthouse, providing a safe and secure environment, with necessary setback from the street, appropriately designed with efficiencies and function to carry out justice with accessibility and compliant with ADA, while meeting our judicial needs for more than 75 years,” Eilert said.
The building will include space for the district attorney’s office, jury services, sheriff security, Judicial Information Management System (JIMS) staff, court clerk, court legal help center, law library, court administration, court trustee and a secure tunnel to the Olathe Adult Detention Central Booking facility.
“The design of the new courthouse expresses the significance of the judicial branch of democracy in our community for the 21st century,” said Assistant County Manager Joe Waters. “This building effectively relays the transparency, equality, permanence and seriousness of the business to be conducted within its walls, while creating a welcoming atmosphere for our residents.”
The new courthouse will be built across Santa Fe Street, directly north of the existing courthouse and west of Olathe City Hall.
“During current master planning and the design process the project team collaborated with the city of Olathe to ensure the end result will enhance the downtown area,” Waters said.
The project will cost $193 million (including inflation) and will be completed in early 2021. The current courthouse will then be torn down and the green space developed into a courtyard area.
Schematic designs will be submitted to the city of Olathe in late March for planning review. Groundbreaking is slated for July with construction to follow. Johnson County’s Department of Facilities Management is leading the courthouse project with a design-build team that includes JE Dunn, Fentress Architects, Civitas and TreanorHL.
In November 2016, voters approved a 10-year, quarter-cent public safety sales tax to finance and build a new county courthouse and medical examiner’s facility. The sales tax sunsets in 2027.