Houston County hired Klein McCarthy Architects to assist with the master planning, design and construction of a new justice facility. The justice center includes a complete courts facility along with law enforcement and an updated County jail. The project was built in the original 1850 courthouse square in downtown Caledonia near other county departments. The new courthouse facility is located directly adjacent to the historic courthouse and the design respects the proportions and materials to reinforce the courthouse campus and enhance the surrounding neighborhood.
The justice center's court services include county attorney offices, court administration offices, judge's chambers, courtrooms, hearing rooms, a jury deliberation room and attorney conference rooms. The master courtroom is a full jury courtroom with an elevated judge's desk. Courtrooms are outfitted with the latest court technology as well as private judges' entrance and secure staff circulation. Secure inmate staging is located in between the master courtroom and hearing room to eliminate inmate transfer through public circulation.
The final design strikes a balance between modern technology and respectful acknowledgement of the historic context, with appropriate materials and landscape that reflect the Justice Center's prominent place in the community. The design team utilized energy efficiency and sustainable design approaches such as natural lighting, low VOC's, recycled content, energy-efficient lighting and controls, and the use of local materials.