The cornerstone for the original courthouse in Van Buren County, Michigan, which is still in use today, was laid in 1901. Over time, Court related services have evolved to operate out of three separate facilities. The County Courthouse appointed DLZ to provide Programming, Site, and Building Concept Design Services. The intent was to consolidate Court Services into a cohesive, secure facility. The process included extensive stakeholder design committee meetings to identify and address current and future space needs. This way, it would be convenient to more effectively address the needs of its citizens.
The solution that DLZ offered for the Courthouse included a New Courts Facility totaling approximately 60,000 square feet. The area incorporated four courtrooms, three hearing rooms, and associated support space. The proposed facility not only addresses spaces needs and modernizes services, but also segregates security, staff, and public circulation to allow more safe and secure operation. Proximity to the County Jail allows secure transfer of detainees from cells to secure holding rooms between the new courts.