BLUE EARTH COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER
The historic Blue Earth County Courthouse was built in 1889 and while the location, design and material use represented the quality and dignity of an historic court facility, the building had become obsolete in terms of adequate and appropriate space and lacked proper security. The new court services building integrates all justice services (Court Services, Jail, County Attorney, Sheriff's Office and Probation) into one facility that provides convenience to the citizens and operational efficiency for the County.
The facility has 3 jury courtrooms, an arraignment courtroom, a hearing room and shelled space to allow for 2 future jury courtrooms. Support space includes judge's chambers, jury deliberation areas and court administration. The location of 4 courtrooms was planned with inmate holding and elevators to provide secure inmate movement from the jail to the courtrooms.
The County approached this project with the goal of achieving energy efficiency and sustainable design. As a result the Blue Earth County Justice Center is the first justice facility in Minnesota to receive a US Green Building Council LEED Certification. Geothermal heating, natural lighting, energy-efficient systems, the use of local materials, and recycling waste were a few contributing factors towards this achievement.