Elkhart County, Indiana (August 31, 2022) – A high-tech camera has been installed at the construction site of Elkhart County’s new Consolidated Courts campus so that local citizens can view how the new campus is taking shape.
“We’re excited that the camera will show residents the progress happening at their new County Courts campus,” said Suzie Weirick, President of Elkhart County Commissioners.
Merging the County’s two older court facilities into one centralized, digitally sophisticated campus has been in the works for over two decades. The project began in earnest several years ago when the search for a central location convenient to citizens from every city and town in the County began.
“For citizens to see that it’s actually happening after all these years is important,” added Weirick. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally on our way to getting this done. The location, modernization, and efficiency of this new campus will serve local residents well for the next 100 years.”
The camera, which updates with a fresh image every fifteen seconds, is available for viewing 24 hours a day at www.SmartCourtsProject.com.
The project is expected to be completed early in the fall of 2024.
ABOUT THE DESIGN-BUILD CONSTRUCTION TEAM
The design-build team was officially selected on January 19, 2021 when Elkhart County Commissioners voted unanimously to hire Performance Services out of Indianapolis to head the Design-Build Construction process. Performance Services earned the highest qualitative score and best price value out of a field of eight qualified teams under consideration at that time.
THE PUBLIC PROCESS
Elkhart County Government is committed to keeping constituents informed as the project moves forward. A website with frequently asked questions, key facts, and an evolving timeline has been created as part of the process. The address is www.SmartCourtsProject.com.
ABOUT THE ELKHART COUNTY SMART COURTS PROJECT
The genesis of a consolidated Elkhart County Courthouse system goes back to 1992. The project has been discussed as a necessary improvement since that time.
Beginning in January 2018 and concluding in July of 2020, more than two dozen locations were studied by Elkhart County government as potential sites for the consolidated campus. The studies included sites in downtown Goshen and downtown Elkhart.
On September 12, 2020 an initial bond agreement was approved in the amount of $35 million for the first phase in financing to purchase land, design and build the new courthouse.
On November 14, 2020, the Elkhart County Council unanimously approved the purchase of 32 acres of vacant property at 1905 Reliance Road in Goshen as the location for the new consolidated courts campus.
On December 9/10, 2020, the TRC interviewed 8 design-build teams. On December 15, 2020, the TRC narrowed the field of design/build teams down to three. The three finalists were interviewed a second time on January 12, 2021.
On January 12, 2021, the TRC interviewed three finalists for the project and assigned 16 Qualitative Scores to each design/build team. The TRC’s Qualitative Scores were submitted to the County Commissioners on the same day, and the Commissioners approved the submission unanimously at that time.
On January 19, 2021, Elkhart County Commissioners voted unanimously to hire Indianapolis based design firm Performance Services and their partners Goshen-based Ancon Construction and South Bend-based Jones Petrie Rafinski to design and build the new Consolidated Courts project on 32 acres at 1905 Reliance Road in Goshen.
On January 26, 2021, Elkhart County Commissioners hosted the first of several visioning sessions with participants who use the current county courts system on a daily basis. The three hour session was designed to provide input on core values and objectives that will be used in the design process for the new consolidated courts system.
From February through May, 2021, visioning sessions and workshops with court and law enforcement personnel, countywide leaders, contractors, and planners continued. Dozens of sessions were held to determine as many of the basic facets of the new consolidated courts campus as possible.
October 1, 2021, Elkhart County government announced it had developed strict cost saving agreements with contractors that will help to minimize the escalating costs of raw materials for the new Consolidated Courts campus. The agreements are tied directly to the facility being built on Reliance Road between the cities of Goshen and Elkhart. The agreements effectively prohibit the project from exceeding budget.
November 16, 2021, Groundbreaking at site of new Consolidated Courts Campus on Reliance Road in Goshen
Dec. 8 – 10, 2021, County judges visit a warehouse near the Reliance Road construction site to comment on full scale plywood mockups of the new courtrooms that will be built at the new consolidated courts campus
December 14, 2021, Judges make final recommendations regarding the design and construction of the new courtrooms to be built at the new consolidated courts campus on Reliance Road in Goshen. In this meeting, Judges and other courts personnel make decisions on style of brick façade and other design details, including the elimination of a proposed patio area at the southeast corner. The patio area was eliminated out of concerns regarding access in and out of the building in that area.
April, May and June, 2022, Surface design, including water management work began at the site on Reliance Road.
June, July, 2022, Initial concrete pours began for elevator shafts that will serve the 4-story courthouse.
August, 2022, A high-tech camera was installed so the public could witness construction at the site 24 hours a day.
ABOUT ELKHART COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Elkhart County is governed by a board of three County Commissioners. The board of Commissioners constitutes the legislative body of the County for ordinance purposes and also serves as the executive branch for Elkhart County government.
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