Stark County Courthouse nearly complete

Courthouse addition is nearly complete after more than 18 months of construction

Stark County’s Courthouse addition is nearly complete after more than 18 months of construction.

The Stark County Courthouse was built in 1936, making the new addition more difficult.

“The challenge is trying to design a building that looked like it belonged in this time but also wasn’t competing with the beautiful historic courthouse,” said Isaac Karley, JLG Architects.

But the commission couldn’t afford to wait any longer.

“You have a new judge that was appropriated to the southwest district. He and his staff are housed inappropriately because there just simply, was not the room. We knew we had to add on to the existing courthouse,” said County Commissioner Jay Elkin.

The design team and the county commissioners wanted to bring a piece of history from the old courthouse into the new one. So they brought the marble from the original windows.

Project Manager Rodney Cockeram explained how the addition also has significant security upgrades like a hallway for prisoner transport. .

“They have to enter or run their key card across this. That will activate the elevator. Then they can choose which courtroom they’re going to go through,” said Cockeram.

Working through different structural challenges briefly extended the timeline, but not the budget.

“Right now we still have money left in our contingencies, both owner and construction contingencies. We’re still in really good shape, even as we’re getting toward the end of the project,” said Cockeram.

Cockeram says that the construction will be done sometime in January and Elkin says the dedication will be done in the Spring.

The project has cost $6.5 million, which is less than the $10 million the commission expected the building to cost.