Midland County made the decision to move from the existing courthouse to a new, 11-story building it purchased in order to have all public services in one facility and better serve the county. The building was built in the early 1980s and required modifications to meet current building and fire codes, as well as the client’s needs.

The existing structure was previously an office building and allowed for the use of existing walls and materials to be reused where possible to create the most efficient layout for each department. PSC worked with 20 Midland County departments to incorporate the basic functional and spatial relationships between office areas, courtrooms, administrative and high security areas of the courthouse to plan for its current space needs, as well as their future growth.

The increased size of space gave Midland County the opportunity to incorporate nine new courtrooms into the facility. Holding cells and prisoner transport areas were incorporated along with these courtroom spaces. Also, a new elevator specifically designated for prisoner transport was designed into the new space to minimize prisoner interaction with the public visitors and to maintain a high level of security. Each department’s employees gained close, easy access to files and storage that they retrieved at least once a week and to have growth space as well. Remote storage was developed for less frequently accessed items. Two of the eleven floors were left as shell space and were designed to allow for additional courtrooms.  The vacant floors were structurally upgraded to for those future expansions.

PSC engineers surveyed mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems to determine what could be reused in the renovated building. They designed systems wherever possible, integrating existing components with new ones where it was needed to adequately meet today’s needs and codes. This included installing a sprinkler system throughout the building, while coordinating with all other above ceiling systems and working within the existing floor to ceiling clearances. The existing elevators were also refurbished and brought up to code. In addition, the building was surveyed for asbestos and found to contain some asbestos materials, which were removed in conjunction with the space reconfigurations.