The construction on the Callaway County Justice Center at Fulton continues, with construction expected to be completed in March.
Gary Jungermann, Callaway County presiding commissioner, said the current plan is to move offices and staff to the new Justice Center in the middle of April.
Construction on the Justice Center began in July 2021, Jungermann said. Two buildings were torn down to allow for construction of the new building.
The soil was also bad, Jungermann said, which resulted in construction getting pushed back.
"It's still got a ways to go, but everyday things get a little farther along," Jungermann said.
The bottom floor of the Justice Center will serve as a service floor.
Behind the building will be a secure parking lot for employees with electronic gates that will require a keycard for entry. This lot will be for judges, attorneys, deputies with the Callaway County Sheriff's Office and other specific employees.
Another lot above the secure lot will be for all other Callaway County employees.
On the bottom floor will be a sallyport for inmates to be brought into the Justice Center, Jungermann said. The inmates will also have a secure elevator to go to the courtrooms.
Public parking will be in the front of the Justice Center, where there is space for about 40 vehicles to park. There will also be around 10 slanted parking spots on the street next to the building, Jungermann said.
The public entrance will have a marshal station for security, Jungermann said. It will have an x-ray machine and be similar to the current station at the courthouse.
There will also be an area near the front doors with storage lockers for guests, as cell phones are not allowed in the courtrooms.
The circuit clerk's office will be on the first floor. Jungermann said the new circuit clerk's office isn't necessarily bigger, but is better organized than the current office.
"What they have up there, built back in 1938 when that building was built, they weren't really thinking about 100 years later," Jungermann said. "I think what we've done is probably about the same square footage, we've just organized it much better."
All offices related to the court system will be moved from the current Callaway County Courthouse to the Justice Center, Jungermann said. Other administrative offices will remain at the courthouse.
The first floor will also have the jury assembly room, the juvenile department and the prosecutor's office.
The second and third floors of the Justice Center are almost exactly the same in design.
One difference between the two is that the second floor will have an outdoor seating area above the sallyport for jurors and other employees, Jungermann said.
The third floor will also have a law library, but the second floor will not.
The current Callaway County Courthouse has two courtrooms, while the Justice Center will have four.
Two courtrooms will be smaller in size, and two will be larger. One small courtroom and one large courtroom will each be on the second and third floors.
The two large courtrooms will have a space for the jury. All courtrooms will have seating for the general public.
The second and third floors will also have offices for judges, jury deliberation rooms, holding cells and consultation rooms.
The Justice Center cost approximately $12 million, Jungermann said.
He said one of the goals with the Justice Center was to future proof the building. There will be nothing above the juvenile and prosecutor's offices, which will allow for additional construction when necessary.
"There was a lot of thought put into this building, as far as the way it was designed," Jungermann said. "It looks big, but we utilize about every square inch to make it work. I think it's going to turn out really nice and something that will be here forever."