Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks unveiling of new Cabarrus Courthouse

Public tours to follow May 31 event
The public is invited to join in the celebration on Wednesday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m.
The public is invited to join in the celebration on Wednesday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m.(Cabarrus County)
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 1:16 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Cabarrus County and the local judicial community will commemorate the opening of the new 250,000-square-foot Courthouse with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour.

The public is invited to join in the celebration on Wednesday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m. at the courthouse front steps or virtually on the County’s YouTube page (youtube.com/cabarruscounty). Be sure to subscribe and enable notifications to be alerted when the ceremony is live.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held on the fourth floor in Courtroom 407.

Ceremony speakers will include N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby, Resident District Court Judge Marty McGee, Jason Harris of Messer Construction, Cabarrus District Attorney Ashlie Shanley, Caleb H. Newman of the local Bar Association and Cabarrus County Manager Mike Downs.

Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Chair Steve Morris will officiate the event.

“This building stands as a symbol of a great collaborative effort to meet a critically mandated need,” Morris said. “In Cabarrus County, the first four Courthouses signaled steps forward for the community. This beautiful building is no different—it will meet the needs of the community now and in the future.”

Commissioners officially approved the five-year renovation/expansion in 2019. Silling Architects designed the facility and Messer Construction serves as the project manager.

The actual construction process kicked off with stakeholder team-building activities. A virtual groundbreaking was held on Aug. 6, 2020, and officials celebrated the final beam raising with a two-day “topping off” celebration in July of 2021.

The project will help alleviate an increase in court traffic.

North Carolina statutes require counties to build and maintain court facilities on behalf of the state. According to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), use of the Cabarrus County Courthouse increased 131 percent over the past three decades. Court filings in 1986/87 totaled 27,506 and by 2016/17 that number jumped to 63,567.

The four-story facility features 12 courtrooms, jury assembly and selection areas, attorney/client and attorney/attorney meeting spaces, multiple security queuing aisles and other amenities.

An art installation—The Woven Scroll—is prominently displayed inside the lobby of the new Courthouse. Developed by Texas-based RE:site, the installation features thousands of individually hand-wrapped colored steel wire sections that are stacked vertically and suspended by a winding array of stainless steel cables. The display features nearly 500 sections, each 12 feet in length.

Complimenting the new building is a public plaza constructed on the former Means Avenue. The plaza will connect Union and Church streets, creating access to the developing downtown.

Now that the expansion is complete, the existing Courthouse facing Union Street is next in line for renovations.

Cabarrus County Courthouse Through the Years

1792: Cabarrus County is formed.

1793: The first Cabarrus County court sessions are held in the home of Robert Russell.

1796: The first Cabarrus Courthouse is built at the intersection of Corban and Union streets. At 30-square-foot, the frame building offers little space and few comforts.

1826: A traditional column-brick courthouse is built on a corner near the first Courthouse. The building is expanded in 1872, but a fire destroys the structure on Feb. 15, 1875.

1876: The third Courthouse (now known as the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse) is completed. The building is renowned for its classical architectural style.

1975: The three-story, 70,000-square-foot red brick Courthouse opens at the corner of Union Street and Corban Avenue.

Today: The community welcomes the 250,000-square-foot expansion/renovation that will ultimately connect to the 1975 Courthouse.