Raleigh, N.C. — The Wake County Justice Center held a public preview Saturday and will officially open Monday, $30 million under budget and weeks ahead of schedule.
The 11-story, 577,000-square-foot building on Martin Street between McDowell and Salisbury streets replaces Wake County's 44-year-old courthouse on Fayetteville Street.
An expanse of marble, steel and light, the $184 million Justice Center was built with the public in mind.
The old courthouse elevators were painfully slow and cramped. The Justice Center has 17 elevators to speed people to and from the 40 courtrooms – almost double the number in the old courthouse.
"One of the things on the old building was the lack of elevators and ability to move people around," said Commissioner Joe Bryan.
Traffic court, which is typically the busiest, is on the first floor to cut down on the number of people wandering the halls.
To enhance security, 200 video cameras are placed strategically throughout the building.
Civil and family court hearings will remain in the old courthouse.
This building is expected to last 50 years.
"I would not be surprised if we received national attention from other judicial services. To come in and see how our services are laid out and see what they can do for themselves," said Bryan.