Johnson County Courthouse

Olathe, Kansas


OWNER: Johnson County Kansas

LEAD DESIGN FIRM: Treanor Architects


CIVIL ENGINEER: Treanor Architects


MEP ENGINEER: Smith & Boucher

The new Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe, Kan., consolidates the 10th Judicial District Court, the district attorney’s office and supporting spaces into a seven-story cast-in-place concrete structure. Early collaboration while planning the project helped deliver substantial completion three months ahead of the original estimate. As a result, the team had more time for furniture, fixture and equipment installation, while the owner could focus more on training and moving in. 

The original design was over budget, so early partnering helped the team identify more than 175 potential value engineering options. Ultimately, 38 options were presented, representing more than $10 million in savings while maintaining the original design intent. Reducing floor-to-floor heights by 1 ft, for example, saved nearly $1.5 million. Using planter walls in place of site seat walls saved nearly half a million dollars.

Johnson County Courthouse

Photo courtesy JE Dunn

As part of the project, a tunnel was built to transport inmates from the nearby jail to the new courthouse. The tunnel crossed under a busy street, so the team planned for every hour of the scope. As a result, the team was able to reduce street closures from four months to two months. 

The project was also the first in the Kansas City region to screen workers and stagger shifts under COVID-19 protocols. Despite the new procedures, the project never lost a day of construction.

Johnson County Courthouse

Photo courtesy JE Dunn

The completed project, delivered in August 2020, includes 28 courtrooms and convertible space for six additional courtrooms. Supporting functions include court administration, court clerk, a help center, the court trustee, justice information management, sheriff’s office, a law library with court support, an inmate staging area, jury services, secure parking, the public lobby and a security area.