Ribbon cut on the new Cabarrus County Courthouse
250,000 square foot facility houses 12 courtrooms, meeting rooms
CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Calling it “the people’s house of justice,” Cabarrus County Commission Chairman Steve Morris presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Cabarrus County Courthouse on Wednesday morning.
“These structures matter because they are saying to your community you can rely on the justice that will be administered in these buildings,” said North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby.
Ceremony speakers included 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.
The ribbon cutting was held to mark the opening of this 250,000 square foot addition. The county outgrew the 1975 courthouse several years ago, according to court officials, and the addition was much needed.
Commissioners officially approved the five-year renovation/expansion in 2019. Silling Architects designed the facility and Messer Construction serves as the project manager.
“I feel like that we finally have the space to give the victims what they have been wanting,” Cabarrus County District Attorney Ashlie Shanley said. “We use to have a session of superior court and maybe a session of district court, but as of last month, that’s not sufficient. We have multiple superior court sessions going on at the same time, multiple district criminal, and there’s no place for the jurors to go. You’re supposed to keep those juror panels separate. There was no place for them. There was no place for the witnesses and we just did what we could to make it work.”
North Carolina statutes require counties to build and maintain court facilities on behalf of the state. According to the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, use of the Cabarrus County Courthouse has increased 131% over the last three decades. Court filings in 1986/87 totaled 27,506. By 2016/17, that number rose to 63,567.
“Now we have the space to actually conduct the trials as we should,” Shanley added.
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.
“Through the revitalization efforts in downtown Concord, this is such a huge piece of that with the community. The plaza that we see here is going to be a gathering space. As we look at new and old construction that’s coming together it’s going to be a way of uniting al of our community in one place,” said Barbi Jones, The Chamber, Leading Business in Cabarrus.
Now that the expansion is complete, the existing Courthouse facing Union Street is next in line for renovations.
Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.