The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners celebrated the construction kickoff of the new courthouse with about 175 residents, city and county leaders, community groups and other interested stakeholders.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place across the street from the current Johnson County Courthouse on Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe.
Johnson County’s new 28-courtroom courthouse will serve Johnson County’s judicial needs for more than 75 years. Its design will also allow for additional courtrooms to be added later as needed. Substantial completion of this project is scheduled for late 2020 with occupancy in 2021.
“This groundbreaking ceremony symbolizes all of the hard work which will ultimately result in an attractive, secure and functional courthouse,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eiler.” I want to thank Johnson County voters who approved a quarter-cent public safety sales tax to help fund this project. I also want to thank my fellow commissioners, county staff, our design/build partners led by JE Dunn, the city of Olathe, and many community and stakeholder groups.”
Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included Eilert, District Attorney Stephen Howe, Tenth Judicial District Chief Judge Kelly Ryan, Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland, County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson, Assistant County Manager Joe Waters, and President of JE Dunn Construction Midwest Paul Neidlein.
“A courthouse is a building where people must always feel, and always be, safe,” said.”Whether you are at the courthouse for a marriage certificate or adoption, to get a protection order, to appear in court as a victim or witness or to report for jury duty, public safety matters.”
“It’s a wise investment to serve our ever-growing community, for the common good of our criminal justice system and for our residents for generations to come,” said Ryan.
Also today, the Board of County Commissioners authorized the Public Building Commission to sell Lease Purchase Revenue Bonds in the principal amount of $169.4 million for construction of both the courthouse and medical examiner?s facility. The bonds are scheduled to be sold on or around August 8 with the expectation of attracting the lowest interest rate possible in light of the county’s current AAA bond ratings.
Major project milestones leading up to today
• Nov. 8, 2016: Johnson County voters approved a quarter-cent public safety sales tax to fund the county courthouse and medical examiner/coroner facility, plus provide funds for city public safety initiatives.
• Dec. 9, 2016: Johnson County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution to levy the additional one-fourth cent sales tax countywide for a period of 10 years, beginning in April 2017.
• Nov. 2, 2017: The BOCC selected JE Dunn/TreanorHL/Fentress as the design-build team.
• Feb. 6 and 7, 2018: Public engagement meetings took place to provide residents with initial design and plans and receive their feedback.
• March 22, 2018: Schematic designs were presented to the BOCC.
• May 8, 2018: Courthouse property transfer from city of Olathe to Johnson County.