By CN Staff
FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C.—Ground officially broke recently on the new Forsyth County Hall of Justice that is being built on Chestnut Street neighboring the Forsyth County Government Center.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held virtually with prerecorded remarks that went live later. Construction is expected to take up to two and a half years on the new courthouse that will be approximately 250,000 square feet with six floors, 18 courtrooms, two escalators and four public elevators. It will also include a secure tunnel that will allow for inmate transfers from the county jail without necessitating a transport vehicle.
There will be a physical connection to the Government Center allowing for shared services and for future expansion of court services into the Center. Most functions of the Clerk of Court’s office will be hosted in a dedicated area on the first floor—so visitors can easily access those services without an elevator or visiting multiple areas of the venue.
A security challenge of the existing courthouse is that individuals in custody share the same secure corridor—and elevators—with judges, district attorneys and clerk staff. That issue will be resolved with the new courthouse; those who are in-custody and courthouse staff will have separate dedicated hallways and elevators. Additionally, the new courthouse will also have secured parking for judges and elected officials.
Samet Corporation and Balfour-Beatty are the construction managers of the project and CJMW Architecture is the architect; project partner SLAM Collaborative designed the facility.
Designed by Francis Fries, Forsyth County’s first courthouse opened in 1849. It was replaced with a new courthouse in 1897, and another new courthouse was built in 1926, which has since been transformed into condominiums. The current Hall of Justice on North Main Street debuted in 1974 with 175,000 square feet and 14 courtrooms.