Old vs. new courthouses
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.