BOZEMAN — It took a lot of effort for voters to approve the construction of a new county court building. Now, Gallatin County officials are excited that they’re almost halfway done with construction.
Nick Borzak, Gallatin County chief operations manager explains, "It’s four District courtrooms and two Justice courtrooms. We also have a Youth Court, and our District Court clerks are in here, so it’s entirely a courts building. We also have the large jury assembly-slash-community room for the public to utilize after hours."
Officials also say the new building will amend security issues and spatial inconveniences.
"Everyone in this building is currently in one tiny little hallway in an office space, so everyone will have their own courtroom. Each of the court reporters, the judicial assistants, and the law clerks will each have their own space to work with," says Andrea Lower, District 18 court administrator.
Extensive thought and budgeting went into how and what the building would be made of.
Borzak says, "The building is mostly block construction. It’s the largest block construction building in the state of Montana".
This construction comes after many attempts to gain funding approval.
But Borzak says, "The voters overwhelmingly approved it. And now the county is working hard on obtaining other properties, which we have, and remodeling them so all of our operations that need to come out of the existing Law and Justice Center have a place to serve the public".
The new building will provide more space for judges to review cases as well as fix inmate security concerns.
"Currently the inmates need to walk outside with detention staff through the public and into a courtroom. The new connection is they’ll go from the detention center to the courts building, up into the mezzanine, and drop down without ever seeing the public or county staff as well. Secure," says Borzak.
The new court building is set to be completed in September 2024.