Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Eastern Ohio Chapter
Home to more than 9,900 residents, the City of Girard, Ohio, hired ms consultants to supply programming and design for a new, 20,000 square foot Girard Justice Center. This award-winning facility houses police, court, and administrative functions.
Combining court and police operations requires careful management of space and access to ensure safety and efficiency. The ms team developed a floorplan that separates secured areas from public areas, including secured employee areas, elevators, and a prisoner holding room. To allow the combined facility to operate smoothly while maintaining security, the holding area is designed to allow visiting officers from other districts access without passing through public areas or requiring an escort from the City of Girard.
Working within a limited site, the ms architects designed the new 20,000-square-foot justice center as an addition to the original City Hall. To create a cohesive design, the justice facility integrates the new with the old by borrowing elements and materials from the original buildings. Some of these design details include:
Not only does the Girard Justice Center showcase its design, but it also houses the city’s police station and court, functioning as an all-in-one justice center. On the first floor, the City of Girard Police Station contains a 24-hour 911 emergency response center, four eight-hour holding cells, interview rooms, and offices. The second floor is home to the Girard Municipal Court floor and includes a main courtroom that accommodates 100 visitors, the judge’s chambers, offices of the Public Defender and Prosecutor, and the Clerk of Courts. By using natural light and light wood in lieu of traditional darker wood, the courtroom generates an open and spacious feel throughout.
The mechanical systems for the Girard Justice Center has more than $310,000 of fire protection and plumbing work specific to a justice facility. The design included:
All stakeholders declared The Girard Justice Center a success. The project also received national recognition with its feature in the National Center for State Courts’ Retrospective of Courthouse Design 1991-2001 publication,