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A New Green Courthouse Set To Open


Franklin County Commissioners cut the ribbon for the first newly constructed "green" courthouse in Ohio.

County leaders and judges were on hand to cut the ribbon on the new Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse. The seven story building will replace the current facilities nearby on south High Street. The building uses glass, open space and natural light to reflect a modern vision of a courthouse. Recycled steel was used in the construction along with sustainably harvested hickory wood for gallery and courtroom wall panels and benches. Franklin County Commissioner, Paula Brooks says the building is expected to receive a LEED Gold certification, a top honor for its environmentally friendly design.

"You can see the natural light, also native plants we're using to reduce the need for watering on our green roof and that wonderful Schottenstein rain garden that we'll all see bloom in the spring," said Brooks.

The building has 325,000 square feet of space with 32 courtrooms that are more spacious than the ones currently used. The existing Franklin County Common Pleas Court building is 30 years old and was completed when the county had only 10 judges and 830,000 residents. Today, the county has 17 judges and 1.1 million residents. Caseloads have also increased three and a half times faster than the population. The new courthouse will open early next year.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.