Old vs. new courthouses

Feb. 04, 2013 @ 05:59 PM

Here are some differences between the old and new Durham County Courthouses:

The old - endlessly waiting on one of two elevators, giving up and hiking up the back stairs.

The new - 11 elevators with six of them for the public, plus large staircases.

The old – broken seats in the courtrooms.

The new – sleek dark wooden benches in each of the courtrooms.

The old – a jury lounge that seemed more like a jury cell.

The new – spacious jury lounge with comfortable chairs, work stations, reading areas, wi-fi and a special area to watch the jury orientation video.

The old – small men’s and women’s bathrooms with broken faucets

The new – modern bathrooms on each floor for men, women and families.

The old – interior hallways with no benches for the public.

The new – hallways with benches and large windows that look out over the city.

The old – Durham County Sheriff’s Office squeezed into small quarters with some of its offices down the street.

The new – Durham County Sheriff’s Office with three floors of offices in a wing attached to the main building.

The old – low tech.

The new – high tech with Gold LEED energy-saving features, rain water cisterns to collect water for landscaping, public wi-fi throughout the building, special systems for staff throughout the building, rooftop gardens to help reduce storm water runoff, low volatile organic compound finishes in the interior.

The old – security issues when deputies brought defendants through public corridors.

The new – people in custody kept separate from the public with easy access for deputies to bring them from the jail to the courtroom.