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  Sebastian County Courts Building

Sebastian County Courts BuildingArchitect

Guest Reddick Architects
602 Garrison Avenue, #800, Fort Smith, AR 72901

General Description

Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Date Bid: June 2006
Construction Period: Aug 2006 to Sep 2008
Total Square Feet: 70,540 Site: 4.05 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 35,270; second floor, 35,270; total, 70,540 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 15’; second floor, 14’10”; total, 40’4”.
Basic Construction Type: Unprotected steel, Type IIB.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade, geo piers. Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtainwall. Roof: Modified bitumen, metal. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Engineering Consultants, Inc. - 401 West Capitol Avenue, #305, Little Rock, AR 72201
General Contractor: Beshears Construction, Inc. - 12934 Old Highway 71, Fort Smith, AR 72916
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: HSA Engineering Consulting Services, Inc. - 5701 Euper Lane, #A, Fort Smith, AR 72903
Civil Engineer: Mickle, Wagner, Coleman Engineers - 3434 Country Club Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72903
Audio/Visual Engineer: Coffeen Fricke & Associates - 14827 West 95th Street, Lenexa, KS 66215

The Sebastian County Courts Building opened in September 2008, concluding a multi-year process to bring the county and city courts together under one roof. Prior to the completion of this facility, the local courts were spread among three separate buildings in downtown Fort Smith. Authorities desired a single location that would accommodate the needs of all the courts.

The specific property location was selected because of its convenient location adjacent to the Fort Smith Police Headquarters and the Sebastian County Detention Center, which were also designed by Guest Reddick Architects.

Several design issues were given thoughtful consideration during the planning process. Security was a high priority for the entire project. To assure both the visiting public and the facility’s employees a safe environment, the public must enter the building and pass through a metal detector in the security vestibule. A sally port was included to provide for controlled movements of defendants when they are transported to or from the facility. Interior security blisters and holding cells on each floor are constructed using jail construction techniques.

Aesthetics, of course, was also an integral design issue. The building was designed to complement the existing architectural style of the adjacent facilities and downtown Fort Smith. Brick serves as a primary element to relate to the existing structures in the area. The exterior features a corbelled brick cornice around the entire building and brick pilasters at the entry. These brick pilasters provide imagery of strength and define the entrance. Modern materials such as aluminum and laminated wood panels give a contemporary flair and feeling of luxury. The decorative metal eagles on the exterior represent civil authority and justice and were “borrowed” images from the existing Sebastian County Courthouse constructed in 1937. Carpet tiles create a pattern throughout the public corridors and an ornate compass made of terrazzo covers the main lobby floor.

Another important consideration for this facility was that it be able to accommodate the needs and growth of the courts for at least 25 years. This was a significant cause of the prior separation of the courts into multiple buildings. These advances allow the facility to maintain a high standard of service to the public.

On the ground level are three district courts and their business administration offices along with a juvenile court and juvenile probation offices. The second level houses the offices of the prosecuting attorney, five circuit courtrooms, the circuit clerk’s office and the circuit court administration offices. The sally port and security blister support the courts with holding cells to accommodate over 100 prisoners, including separate holding spaces for juveniles.


DIV. 7: Modified Bitumen: Siplast; Metal: Berridge Manufacturing; Composite Panel System: Alcan; EIFS: Senergy.
DIV. 8: Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer.
DIV. 9: Epoxy Floor: Tnemec; Carpet: Patcraft; Decorative Wall Panels: Marlite.
DIV. 10: Clock: Electric Time.
DIV. 14: Elevators: ThyssenKrupp.
DIV. 26: Lighting: Williams, SPI, Holophane, Day-Brite, Gardco.


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