Housed in six separate buildings, Lorain County sought to consolidate the county courts and their support services in one building to better serve its 300,000 residents. The center is a criminal justice/office building housing the County’s Probate court, six Common Pleas courts, two Domestic Relations courts, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Clerk of Courts office and other county offices. The building was designed with provisions for four additional future courtrooms. The courtrooms are located on four of the seven floors. County offices are located on the three other floors. Mechanical and electrical systems are located in the basement, the third floor and in the mechanical penthouse.
In addition, the building was designed to provide a secure facility consistent with the guidelines of the Ohio Supreme Court rules prescribing security and safety. A total of 11 secure individual and group holding cells are located in the building’s basement along with secure underground parking.
The basement construction consisted of concrete walls supported on spread footings bearing on hard clay. The construction of the holding cells and the secure parking in the basement required the use of fully grouted reinforced masonry walls. An 8” thick reinforced slab on grade was utilized to eliminate extensive foundation work to support the masonry walls.