Administrator's Blog

Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners Move Forward with Downtown Justice Facility

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Kalamazoo County is moving forward with design plans for its new downtown justice facility.

The five-story, 165,000-square-foot facility will be located next to the Kalamazoo County Administration Building, along Kalamazoo Avenue. The new facility will be the consolidated home to the County’s courts, prosecuting attorney office and other criminal justice services.

Kalamazoo County is committed to the redevelopment of the northwest part of downtown. Phase 1 of construction on the new justice facility is expected to begin this summer with CSM Group providing the Construction Management to complete by April of 2023.

The TowerPinkster/HOK design conveys the Kalamazoo County Justice System as a contemporary, future-focused institution, representing the County’s mission of environmental stewardship defined by the principles of sustainable design. The guiding design principles emphasize transparency, public accessibility and civic integrity.

The courtrooms will be organized in a traditional four-court set along Kalamazoo Avenue. The south pedestrian-oriented plaza lawn will accommodate the relocated Disabled Veterans Memorial from the original Michigan Avenue Courthouse. High traffic areas and the jury assembly are located on the first floor for convenient public access. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on the fourth floor provides short access to the courtrooms above and below.

“I believe this building design is innovative, has a sustainability focus and will meet the County’s justice needs.” Julie Rogers, Chair of the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners said. “We are committed to efforts to reduce the justice involved population through other partnerships and community initiatives.”

Designing with a focus on sustainability, the building’s elements respond to the environment. The roof has an expansive overhang to regulate solar heat. The interior designers utilized daylight through a center lightwell to reduce tension, stress and anxiety for those working in and visiting the facility.

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020