Hall County Board of Commissioners informed by State Court Administrator for new courthouse

A state court administrator informed the Hall County Board of Commissioners about guidelines for a new courthouse.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:50 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hall County Board of Commissioners took another step toward a new courthouse in Grand Island. During Tuesday’s meeting, they talked with a state official about guidelines for the new project.

The guidelines for the structure of a courthouse were updated back in 2016. In fact officials are looking to revise a new version. However, the plans will have to be approved by the Supreme Court and the district judges.

Once the blueprints are approved, the green light for the construction of the project can begin within two weeks. The new building has to include space for a waiting room, meeting rooms for clients and attorneys as well as a security checkpoint.

It will also need a private room for the jury to make decisions. Not only that, courtrooms for all five judges, in which Corey Steel said is a rare case.

“The need here in Hall County is, as you can see for the judges and the court staff, is big. In a lot of counties we don’t have five judges in one courthouse,” Steel said. “We have one or two or what have you, outside of our metro areas.”

Steel reviews some of the minimum requirements for the facility.

”In the facility guidelines and standards, it talks about not only courtroom standards and the minimum specifications for the courtrooms, but it also talks about the chambers for the judge, court staff and the clerk’s offices,” Steel said.

Another factor that must be taken in account, is safety for all.

”Security is a big thing, not only for the judges, but also for juries. Is there a good secure space for juries? Is the jury room off-set where there’s entrances and exits where they are secure coming in?” Steel said.

Commissioner Gary Quandt shared his frustration with the pace of the process as the county is paying a design team when the project hasn’t been approved.