$75 million worth of courthouse addition is introduced to Kent County residents Tuesday afternoon.
In the centuries since the first courthouse on The Green in Dover was erected in 1699, numerous permutations of the county’s judicial headquarters have come and gone.
On Tuesday, judges, lawyers, elected officials and other dignitaries gathered to unveil the latest edifice dedicated to delivering justice to the citizens of Kent County.
The new Kent County Courthouse, located on the southeast corner of The Green, was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, slightly less than three years after construction begun.
Inside, the new building sports seven courtrooms for the Kent County Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas, including two that won’t be used until future demand for space materializes. It also features new space for the Department of Corrections, Capitol Police, the Prothonotary’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Administrative Office of the Courts.
In the building’s main atrium, visitors are greeted by flat-screen monitors that display up-to-date information about the day’s court schedules and the locations of trials and hearings.
Other high-tech features of the new courthouse include an integrated light-sensing system that dims interior lighting when natural light from the windows is plentiful, thereby reducing energy costs. In addition, the courthouse room supports an array of solar panels that help power the building.
The new building is connected to the existing courthouse, built in 1874, by an enclosed second-story walkway.
Renovations on that facility are scheduled to begin this month. Slated for completion in October of next year, work on the old courthouse will update all existing courtrooms and offices at a cost of $12 million.