Cabarrus County Plans Courthouse Expansion

CONCORD, N.C. — Plans are currently underway for a courthouse expansion in Concord. The courthouse expansion project is part of the county’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

The county retained Charlotte, N.C.-based Moseley Architects to update a courthouse space needs study, and provide preliminary layouts and exterior options for the courthouse in Cabarrus County, according to an article by the Independent Tribune, a local news source. In January 2017, Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners received preliminary design options, which are still under consideration and scheduled for review in the coming months.

The courthouse expansion is needed to provide additional space and services for the aging facility, according to Kyle Bilafer, facilities manager for Cabarrus County.

“The current courthouse was built in 1973 and is less than 100,000 square feet,” said Bilafer. “A significantly larger courthouse is needed especially in terms of courtrooms as the current courthouse only has six courtrooms. We are needing 10 to 14 courtrooms with [the county’s] current case load and staffing.”

While the project has been approved by the county, Bilafer explained that only the master plan space needs updating and the county expects to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for full design services this September.

In addition to the courthouse expansion, the county also was in need of a new parking garage to accommodate the extra space and subsequent visitors of the expanded facility. Currently, the county and the project architect for the parking garage, Morris Berg Architects, based in Charlotte, N.C., are looking to the community for design input as they develop final construction drawings.

The location of the five-story, 626-spot parking deck will be across from the current Cabarrus County Courthouse. The deck is necessary to meet parking demand for courthouse activities. The county expects that, much like Concord’s municipal deck, the courthouse deck will also support growth in downtown Concord as well as support evening and weekend visitors to the area, according to the Independent Tribune.

“We were fortunate to secure space adjacent to an existing county surface lot and very close to the courthouse. The timing also works well with our plans for courthouse expansion,” said County Manager Mike Downs, to the Independent Tribune. “This deck will have an impact on the look, feel and function of downtown Concord. We’re at a point where we can refine the design to make it reflective of our community, and we want residents to be a part of that process.”

Morris Berg Architects and project engineer Kimley-Horn, with offices throughout the country, received contracts for the design and construction administration of the parking deck. Though the county has not yet bid construction of the project, it is included in the proposed 2017-18 budget, with construction scheduled to begin in late 2017, according to the Independent Tribune.

Correctional News will continue to follow the courthouse expansion and publish more information when an RFQ becomes available.