(WAUKESHA, WI) – Today, Waukesha County leaders are celebrating completion of the Secure Courtroom addition to the Waukesha County Courthouse. This milestone concludes Phase One of Waukesha County’s Courthouse Project which will increase security, address aging infrastructure, and enhance accessibility to Circuit Courts Services. The next phase, to renovate the original 1959 Courthouse, will begin in 2022.
“Today we have reached a significant landmark in improving justice and public safety for residents,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “This new facility is designed to streamline access to courts services while enhancing safety. The County is investing in the best technology to serve residents while preserving taxpayer dollars, as this project will be completed more than $3 million under budget.”
The four-story Secure Courtroom adds 62,000 square feet to the Courthouse. All Criminal & Traffic Court officials will relocate to the new addition, which includes six standard courtrooms, one large capacity courtroom, and one intake courtroom with an attached bond room. Standard and large capacity courtrooms have their own victim/witness room, inmate holding cell, and conference room. All aspects of the building have been designed with state-of-the-art technology to enhance public safety, streamline operations, and improve public access to Criminal and Traffic Court services.
Court officials will relocate to the new addition in phases, with full operations scheduled for early 2022. Non-criminal Circuit Courts operations will continue in the existing 1959 Courthouse building.
Enhanced Security Features
Courtrooms in the secure facility are designed to maintain three-way separation among inmates, court staff, and court visitors, a judicial standard that limits unnecessary interaction and prevents potential confrontations.
Other security enhancements include improved video surveillance; upgraded fire protection; courtroom layout that provides clear line-of-sight for court officials and bailiffs; the ability of court officials to automatically lock-down courtrooms in emergency situations; and installation of staff and public announcement systems to provide notifications during emergencies.
Modern audio/visual equipment allows for clear communication within and between courtrooms, jury deliberation rooms, victim witness rooms, media rooms, and judicial chambers. An acoustical analysis was conducted to select the proper materials to optimize audio clarity.
Digital displays are located at each attorney, judge, witness, clerk and jury area so that items can instantly be requested and displayed electronically.
All courtrooms have video conference capabilities that allow participants to appear remotely.
Digital signage at the Secure Courtroom addition’s entrance and outside all courtrooms will help the public navigate to their designated courtroom or conference room and provide the day’s calendar information.
About the Waukesha County Courthouse Project
The Waukesha County Courthouse Project is occurring in two phases to expand and modernize the facilities.
- Phase One: Construction of the new four-story, eight-courtroom facility and relocation of Criminal and Traffic Court to the new facility.
- Phase Two: Renovation of the original 1959 Courthouse facility in a three-phase vertical segmented approach to update aging mechanical systems, create a more efficient layout, and increase accessibility. This phase will begin in 2022.
More information about the Waukesha County Courthouse Project and its next phase can be found in the proposed 2022 Waukesha County Executive Budget at: www.waukeshacounty.gov/budget.
About Waukesha County Circuit Courts
The mission of the Clerk of Circuit Court is to serve the citizens of Waukesha County by providing superior justice support service and assistance to all court system participants in a timely, efficient and ethical manner, and to enhance public confidence in our justice system.
The Judges, Clerk of Circuit Court, and staff in the Waukesha County court system are committed to providing a fair and efficient system of justice that is worthy of the trust and confidence of the public.
More information about Waukesha County Circuit Courts is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/circuitcourts/.