Elkhart County, Indiana (December 17, 2021) – Recently, judges, lawyers and courts personnel toured full-scale mockups of the new Elkhart County Consolidated Courts as part of the next steps in the design process.
Built in a warehouse near the construction site on Reliance Road, the full-size plywood mockups were constructed to show how the courtrooms will look and feel.
“It’s been eleven months of an incredible number of meetings, and to see these actual scale models of what each of the three divisions is going to be like that brings it to life,” shares Superior Court 6 Judge David Bonfiglio.
Feedback was gathered on everything from the size of the room, the height of the ceilings to the location of doors and key elements such as the judge’s bench, witness stand, court reporter, evidence display monitors and more.
“These mockups are an important part of the preconstruction process because it shines a light on areas that may need improvement. This allows for necessary changes to be made and helps prevent future design issues from popping up, saving taxpayers’ money in the long run,” states Suzie Weirick, President of Elkhart County Commissioners.
A target date for completion of the new consolidated courts facility has been set as June 2024.
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 Design-Build Construction team includes Securitecture – Architect of Record, CGL Companies – Courts Design Consultant, Jones Petrie Rafinski – Civil Engineer and Landscape Architect, Lynch, Harrison and Brumleve – Structural Engineer, Byce and Associates – Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Design and Ancon Construction - General Trades Coordinator and Site Superintendent
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.
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
Dec. 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.
A downloadable PDF of this release can be found by clicking here.