Government projects are often working on tight budgets, yet the Jefferson County Government Center is evidence that with the right construction partner, a beautifully designed building can be delivered for the right cost. The 510,000-square-foot building includes a judicial wing and an administrative wing connected by a steel tension ring atrium. There was not a square corner in the design – the entire building, including the parking garage, was on a radius circle design. The two curved wings are joined by a 125-foot-high, enclosed-glass rotunda. These elegant features, not typical of a government building, are made more impressive with the backdrop of the Rockies mountains – and came in at a cost of $118 per square foot.
A public entry plaza and semi-private outdoor space were built for use by county employees. The government center also has an outdoor courtyard, which provides entry to the secured service and parking area under the building for county vehicles. The parking garage was two stories constructed with a combination of precast and cast-in-place concrete and fits approximately 400 cars.
The building is not only a beautiful structure made of two-tone precast concrete that blends right into the Colorado Rockies, but was also technologically advanced at the time it was built. A 600-foot tunnel provides a connection between the existing jail and the courtroom side of the building. Within the tunnel, the team installed a computer-operated, remote controlled magnetic prisoner transportation system to carry inmates between the jail and the courtrooms. The system provided security during prisoner transportation from the jail to the court.
Recognized by many for its outstanding design and quality, constructing the Jefferson County Government Center was no small feat due to the building’s size and the materials used. PCL closely collaborated with Jefferson County and the architect to realize the County’s vision and deliver a high-quality building.