After nearly a decade of planning, construction is underway on Will County’s new courthouse and justice center in downtown Joliet, Illinois. It is hoped that the 10-story, $215 million project will revitalize the southwest suburb while also showcasing the latest trends in courtroom technology, site security, and energy efficiency.
Chicago-based architecture firm Wight & Company has designed the new 369,000-square-foot structure with a glassy facade and large landscaped plaza to convey openness and transparency. When compared to Will County’s current four-story brutalist facility across the street, the philosophical shift is all the more apparent.
Topped by an extensive green roof, the upcoming development will include 38 modern courtrooms to hear criminal, civil, and family law cases. Offices of the Will County circuit court clerk, state’s attorney, and public defenders will be housed in the new structure.
“One of the primary objectives is to restore the original place of the courthouse in modern society,” said Wight’s executive vice president and director of design Kevin Havens in a statement. “This will be a contemporary and architecturally captivating building that will serve as a catalyst for Joliet’s downtown development, as well as a symbol of civic pride.”
Joliet’s former First Midwest Bank building at the southwest corner of Ottawa and Jefferson streets is currently coming down to make way for the civic project. Completion is expected in 2020.