The Idaho State Supreme Court Renovation
The Idaho State Supreme Court building was constructed between 1969 and 1970 and functions as the highest court in Idaho. To show its importance, the exterior was designed with sharp angles, tinted windows, and simplified materials. The building was once credited as one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture added to the Downtown Boise Capitol Mall.
The modern judicial system prioritizes access and public service. This last year, the Supreme Court staff updated their building, creating an interior that is more inviting and colorful than ever. The project came together through the vision of Finance & Operations Director Michelle Crist-Aguiar and the implementation of Facilities Manager Tye Nelson. To learn more about the transformation, we sat down with Tye.
The Necessity For Renovation
As the facilities manager, Tye is the “fix it” guy. He ensures everything is in line at all times (even if it occasionally feels like herding cats). It is a big job considering the 50-year-old building has gone from holding 40 people at its construction to over 140 today. That growth and the fact that the building has not been renovated over that time has been the driving factor for the renovation.
“It has been over 50 years since the building was constructed, and this is our first major upgrade,” Tye said. “There was a huge need to take the existing space and make it fit today’s uses.” For example, the 1st floor workspace was redesigned to provide additional meeting space, which was in short supply. Through the strategic placement of these spaces and transition to glass walls, the team also addressed noise and lighting issues.
The Court’s Function & Functionality
The Idaho Supreme Court staff has grown not for growth’s sake, but to better support the state’s judicial system as it sustains a growing population. The Supreme Court building houses staff who support all the court systems throughout the state. They develope court processes, maintain court technology, and offer training and support for judges and court staff.
It is a centralized hub of activity, and renovating the building was critical to the staff’s continued productive work. Part of that functionality has been integrating technology into the space. With so many court personnel connecting across Idaho, adding meeting rooms with necessary technology has allowed everyone to connect quickly and easily, making a massive difference in a state that is so geographically spread out.
Redesigning To Support The Staff
To redesign and breathe life into the space, the team worked with CSHQA architects. They revisited existing spaces, relocating divisions, adding color and texture, and generally bringing everything up to date. Furniture also played a significant role in the change, which is where OEC stepped in. OEC helped relocate existing furniture and install new private offices, conference rooms, workstations, privacy walls, and more. “Working with OEC was really good. When I asked for a favor, they did it. Tim and Riley quickly let me know if about supply chain issues. They did things to make a difference for me. Even their install crew came in on the weekend to get things done because they knew I needed it.”
The new furniture offered functionality that the old space lacked. Additionally modern finishes made it a place people love to work. Between new furniture, layout, colors, and some fantastic murals, the Supreme Court looks better than ever.
Creating A Space Where People Love To Work
Better yet, the staff is excited about where they work. “My favorite part of this project has been seeing people’s faces when they return to work, knowing they have more space,” Tye said. “… People are bringing plants, pictures and making it home. Knowing that our effort to make a great space has impacted their happiness has been the best part of this entire renovation.”
With the space now working in tandem with the team, the Idaho Supreme Court staff is ready and equipped to tackle the judicial needs of Idaho for years to come.
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