SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Board members had their first look Monday at the glass roof in the atrium of the expanded courthouse.
Members of the DeKalb County Law and Justice Committee and the Ad Hoc Courthouse Oversight Committee said they were impressed with the 30-panel, glass roof and windows in the new atrium.
The atrium will be one of the most used areas in the expanded courthouse and one of the most beautiful areas in the building, said Ruth Anne Tobias, D-DeKalb, and chairwoman of the oversight committee.
She said the amount of natural light will accentuate the stained-glass windows and give the courthouse a more open feel.
The ceiling also features glass that protects people from harmful sun rays and blocks beams that would make it hard for people to see computer screens, DeKalb County Circuit Clerk Maureen Josh said.
“I came over last week, and it was beautiful watching the clouds roll over the ceiling,” Tobias said. “I am very excited about the spot.”
Gary Spivey, project manager with Gilbane Building Co., said work still needs to be done in the atrium, which includes a decorative handrail for the balcony, painting and flooring.
Josh said the atrium would feature a sculpture that is being paid for by the revenue the county received from NBC filming at the courthouse last summer.
The project is expected to be complete at the end of July.
Josh also highlighted other features during the tour that included sound panels in the new courtrooms for better acoustics and panic buttons on the desk of each judge and clerk that would immediately notify security in case of an emergency.
The $15 million expansion to the courthouse began last spring and includes a three-story, 36,000-square-foot addition, a lower basement level and eight courtrooms in both parts of the courthouse.
DeKalb County Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert also gave a brief update on the judicial district splitting from Kendall County to form the new 23rd Judicial Circuit, which will happen in December.
She said the circuit will have six full-time judges, which would help address the backlog of cases.