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Public Safety Project Updates

New courthouse 

A new 28-courtroom courthouse will be built across Santa Fe Street directly north of the existing courthouse building and directly west of Olathe City Hall in downtown Olathe. Click here for a map. The courthouse will cost $182 million and will take four years to construct. It will directly address some issues of concern for local residents:

  • Safety and security improvements — separating inmates and criminal defendants from victims, witnesses, jurors and others in courthouse corridors.
  • Replace the aging, overcrowded courthouse — with a more suitable building that would be accessible/ADA compliant.

The courthouse will position Johnson County's judicial needs for the next 75 years as the county expects to add 10,000 residents each year.

construction schedule

New medical examiner/coroner facility 
Johnson County does not have its own medical examiner/coroner facility. Autopsies are currently conducted at a pay-for-use facility in Kansas City, KS. A new medical examiner/coroner facility in Johnson County would cost $19 million and provide:

  • Increased capacity for conducting autopsies
  • Ability to control prioritization of autopsy work for the county
  • On-site toxicology (currently outsourced)  and real-time data reporting for epidemics and crime (currently not available)
  • Getting out in front of anticipated accreditation legislation and resulting requirements for facilities
  • Opportunity to provide service to municipalities in the region

Project updates and next steps for a new Johnson County Courthouse:

The following timeline identifies actions taken since the November 8 countywide public vote approving a quarter-cent public safety sales tax to fund the courthouse and a medical examiner/coroner facility and the actions to be taken before groundbreaking:

Completed steps:

  • Dec. 9 - Johnson County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution to levy the additional one-fourth cent sales tax countywide for a period of 10 years, beginning on or about April 1, 2017.
  • The Board of County Commissioners amended the county's Capital Improvement Program to include the courthouse and medical examiner/coroner facility projects and authorize the projects.
  • The Public Building Commission approved the projects and sale of bonds.
  • Johnson County negotiated with property owners in block 29 (located one block north of the site of the new courthouse) to purchase the property for a new parking lot for the courthouse.
  • Johnson County issued a number of requests for proposals (RFP) for professional services, including an owner’s representative and a design criteria consultant. Both were approved in 2017 and have been working on the county's project requirements.
  • Johnson County demolished structures on property it purchased for a new courthouse parking lot. The property is located a block north of the site of new courthouse (late October/early November 2017).
  • The Board of County Commissioners voted Nov. 2, 2017 to select JE Dunn/TreanorHL/Fentress as the design-build team.

Upcoming steps:

  • Early 2018, conduct public engagement regarding the design.
  • Second quarter 2018, begin construction.
  • Complete construction by end of 2020 and occupy the building in early 2021.