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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 Coroner facility 
Johnson County does not have its own coroner facility. Autopsies are currently conducted at a pay-for-use facility in Kansas City, Kansas. A new 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 county wide public vote approving a quarter-cent public safety sales tax to fund the courthouse and a coroner/medical examiner 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 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.

Upcoming steps:

  • Johnson County begins demolition of properties 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 will vote Nov. 2, 2017 on whether to select JE Dunn/TreanorHL/Fentress as the design-build team.
  • 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.