Hall of Justice Renovation to Complete ‘County Campus’ Downtown
A hard hat tour of the Franklin County Hall of Justice held this morning showcased the ongoing renovation of the 1970′s-era building; work is about 60 percent complete and the project on track to be finished by this fall.
Project Manager Andrew Hunkins of Corna Kokosing led the tour, taking a group that included County Commissioners Paula Brooks and Marilyn Brown to the four floors of the building that are currently being built-out — the other floors will be available for future county needs.
“Franklin County is the fastest-growing county in Ohio,” explained Brooks. ”And with growth comes needs, either for the courts or potential expansion of different county departments.”
She added that the project “kind of completes our county campus; we tried to pull all of our separate buildings together, while getting rid of significant barriers to handicapped access and also making it much more energy efficient.”
Asbestos was removed from the building, and the HVAC system completely redesigned.
The tenth floor of the building will hold a new law library, while the fourth and fifth floors will house adult probation offices. The first floor will be the site of a new conference center; glass-walled conference rooms will face High Street and give the county much-needed meeting space.
Both commissioners recognized the importance of the new Hall of Justice — as well as the new county courthouse — in the context of continued private-sector investment along South High Street.
“It’s always good to have a mix of developments,” said Brown. “What the government sector piece can add is daytime activity; workers to be out walking, pedestrians on the street. The new residents (in developments like 250 High and LC Riversouth) will offer night-time activity, and it’s important to have both.”
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Rendering provided by Schooley Caldwell Associates. Photos by Brent Warren.