Lawrence M. Walsh
Will County officials gathered today to break ground on the county’s new modern courthouse. The state-of-the-art courthouse will be filled with the latest technology and will accommodate the county’s predicted growth.
“Will County has experienced record growth over the past 20 years and we are proud to be able to build this new courthouse to serve our residents,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “We have worked together with all the stakeholders to advance this project from a concept to reality. Today is a great day for progress in Will County.”
The new courthouse will be 10-stories and will contain 38 courtrooms. There will also be a four story administrative building directly in front of the tower which will house the circuit clerk and sheriff offices. Non-court functions will be handled in the administrative building.
“As our population has grown, so has the need for additional courtrooms,” said Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt. “Our current courthouse served us for 48 years. We anticipate the new courthouse will serve our population for at least that long.
Demolition work has already begun on the site of the former First Midwest Bank building. The removal of trees and pavement is ongoing with the actual demolition of the bank building expected to begin after Jan. 1. The estimated construction completion date is fall of 2020 with the new Will County Courthouse becoming one of the tallest buildings in downtown Joliet.
“This new courthouse will place us squarely in the forefront of public safety and justice administration in Illinois,” said County Board Speaker Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort). “Enhancing public safety for residents is of utmost importance to this board. The existing space had become too small, inefficient and costly to operate. The new courthouse will create a safer and more efficient building for our workers, for jurors and for the visiting public. It will also provide enough space as the county continues to grow."
"Wight & Co. provided the board with a number of design and construction options so we could create the best facility for our residents within our budget," said Ray Tuminello (R-New Lenox), Chair of the Capital Improvements Committee. "In addition to the courtrooms, the courthouse will house offices for the state's attorney, the circuit clerk, and more."
Added Walsh, “This new courthouse is part of the county’s largest capital campaign in our history. We just opened the new Public Safety Complex and are beginning plans to improve other critical Will County facilities such as the Health Department and Animal Control. Will County is keeping pace in the 21st century.”