This project encompassed redesign of a Magistrate Courtroom into a Circuit Courtroom, plus the addition of Judge’s Chambers, Jury Room, and other necessary spaces on the third floor of Jefferson County’s Judicial Annex.
West Virginia’s 23rd Judicial Circuit added one Circuit Judge, so the Jefferson County Commission undertook a project to renovate the 3rd floor of St. Margaret’s Judicial Annex to accommodate the change. This Magistrate Courtroom was converted into a Circuit Courtroom. Existing millwork that makes up the Judge’s Bench, witness stand, reporter’s and clerk’s areas all remained and were already designed to be ADA accessible (an issue with many courtroom renovations).
Modifications to the Judge’s Bench included adding bullet proof material to the front and underside of the worksurface, new chair, and accent paint color on the walls behind, for added focus. Carpet tile was chosen to coordinate with the existing wood and with a pattern that highlights the angled Judge’s bench and existing octagon ceiling element, which also remained.
Office space for the Judge’s chambers, law clerk and court reporter were provided and secured from direct public access for safety and privacy reasons.
The existing courtroom contained a jury box, even though magistrate courts don’t often have juries. Additional jury chairs needed to be added and the “box” area needed to be ADA accessible. Traditional attached jury chairs were specified, and larger enclosure was designed to coordinate with the existing millwork. Existing attorney tables were reused and new chairs provided.
The jury room is used for both general meetings and jury deliberations. A kitchenette and restrooms are located here for sessions that last all day.
A larger waiting area is provided, with private attorney/client meeting rooms adjacent. High, clerestory windows allow for borrowed light to enter this windowless room.
Project: Space planning, interior design, and furniture selection.
Location: St. Margaret’s Judicial Annex, Third Floor, Charles Town, WV
Client: ZMM Architects and Engineers
Size: 20,000 SF / $500,000
Completed: Jan 2017