Construction Forges Ahead on $215M Illinois Courthouse

By CN Staff

JOLIET, Ill.—Construction remains underway on Will County’s new $215 million courthouse and justice center in downtown Joliet.

When completed in 2020, the 10-story building will showcase the latest trends in courtroom technology, site security, and energy efficiency in addition to revitalizing this area.

While this project is definitely impressive, Chicago attorney Adam Wirtz found this project especially so. He was recently sentenced to 12 months of court supervision, 100 hours of community service, and fined $600 after pleading guilty to parachuting off the 10-story courthouse in February.

The Associated Press reported that Wirtz parachuted from the 218-foot structure and landed in the Joliet Police Department’s parking lot, where two officers saw him land.

Will County Judge Cory Lund ordered Wirtz to serve half of his service hours assisting those who cannot afford legal help, with the remainder of time to be served at an animal shelter.

Chicago-based Gilbane Construction is the construction manager on this 369,000 square foot center that architecture firm Wight & Company, also of Chicago, designed.

Wight & Company won an AIA Award for the design of this structure that will feature a glassy facade and large landscaped plaza to convey openness and transparency. Located at southwest corner of Ottawa and Jefferson streets, this new courthouse and justice center will replace an aging courthouse.

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.

Disabled accessibility has been integrated into the circulation corridors, while court agency space will accommodate outpost offices for the state’s attorney, adult probation, law library and sheriff that will be located in the four-story wing. On the ground level, the lobby will provide access to jury assembly, traffic court and the circuit court clerk public service area.

“One of the primary objectives is to restore the original place of the courthouse in modern society,” said Kevin Havens, Wight’s executive vice president and director of design.

“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.”