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The Bergen County Justice Center has evolved over the last 100 years as a group of four interconnecting buildings housing 39 courtrooms and approximately 240,000 square feet of courts and justice-related agency spaces. Tenancy includes criminal, civil, and family courts, as well as the clerk’s offices, Prosecutor, Sheriff, and Municipal court. At the center of the complex is the historic Beaux Arts 1909 courthouse, the most prominent landmark in downtown Hackensack. The complex includes the historic jail and the historic 1930s Administration Building, as well as a 1950s Annex.

CGL’s AOR Justice team, (now NELSON Worldwide), in association with RSC Architects, was retained to work with the Judiciary to re-imagine the complex for the 21st century, focusing on replacing inadequate courtrooms and providing growth, defragmenting the court division offices, and improving wayfinding for the public and improving security and public safety.

The team utilized a participatory visioning process to establish priorities; provided a full space programming, including projections and space standards; developed reconfiguration options for the complex to achieve better space adequacy and efficiencies; developed cost estimates and phasing and complete design drawings for significant renovations to the historic complex.