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WILMINGTON, DE-County workers have settled in at the newly completed $137-million, 572,000-sf New Castle County Courthouse, and employees and officials alike are preparing for the building’s official opening ceremony on Oct. 11. Four years in the making, the new judicial facility is distinguished by not only its 264-ft height, but also its label as the largest and most expensive non-transportation development ever authorized by the state of Delaware.

Located at 500 King St., the new structure holds the county’s four trial courts: the Court of Chancery, Superior Court, Family Court, and Court of Common Pleas and Justice of the Peace Court. A massive and imposing edifice, it occupies a 5.5-acre plot and holds 44 courtrooms among its 14 floors, all designed by Wilmington’s Buck Simpers Architect and Associates Inc. and Orlando, FL’s HLM Design. Local companies EDiS and Jacobs Facilities oversaw the construction. The property also includes a detention area capable of accommodating 200 prisoners, a 150-seat cafeteria, a public reading room, and a law library.

About 700 employees, the majority of whom previously occupied the 86-year-old Daniel L. Herrmann Courthouse and the Jean Kane Foulk DuPont Family Court Building, now call King Street home. “This was an ambitious project to bring almost all the state court’s and many court-related agencies into one building in downtown Wilmington,” Gregory B. Patterson, communications director for the office of Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, tells GlobeSt.com. “And, as such, it became the most expensive non-transportation project the state has ever done.” Original estimates priced the state-of-the art project at $78 million. In addition to consolidating courts and creating more modern work conditions, the building–which sits in a sparsely developed area of downtown–is expected to revitalize the city’s central core by attracting other developments and businesses.

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