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Rensselaer County Family Court
Client: Rensselaer County, New York
Project Type: Adaptive Use; New Design in Historic Context
Rensselaer County Family Court had outgrown their existing facilities at the Main Courthouse Complex. Instead of building a new courthouse John G. Waite Associates renovated the Old Rensselaer County Jail and Sheriff’s house, located a few blocks away from the main courthouse, to incorporate all of the family court operations. This renovation saved the historic buildings and allowed the fastest-growing court in the county to be situated on a site that allowed for future expansion.
Front view of the restored Sheriff’s house, which houses the Family Court offices. Behind the house is the original jail cell block, which houses courtrooms, hearing rooms, and ancillary spaces.
The renovation of the historic county jail for use as the family court center required the removal of the existing jail cell infrastructure. Three levels of new concrete floor structure were inserted along with the construction of a new entry pavilion. The Sheriff’s house was restored to provide space for the family court offices and a day care room. The main building housed two new courtrooms, two large hearing rooms, and met all of the requirements of the Office of Court Administration for ancillary spaces.