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Jason Olson, Deseret News
The new justice center in Spanish Fork.

SPANISH FORK — Giant two-story windows let in plenty of light to show off the new artwork on the walls and the gold letters above each new courtroom.

Around back, there's a loading area so prisoners can be safely and securely brought before a judge without being marched through the front door.

Officials Friday morning celebrated the completion of the new Spanish Fork Justice Center. The complex will house Spanish Fork 4th District Court, Juvenile Court and the Spanish Fork Police Department.

Court clerks and patrons are moving from a 2,500-square-foot facility and police officers will leave behind a 12,000-square-foot facility, in exchange for 58,000 combined square feet of elbow room, said Alan Rindlisbacher, Layton Construction Co. spokesman.

The $18 million building, although not officially "green" certified, uses an environmentally friendly geo-thermal heating and cooling system as well as occupancy censor lights and low-flow water fixtures, Rindlisbacher said.

Court employees will start working there Tuesday although official court sessions won't be held until Sept. 8.

The project — designed by EDA Architects and construction managed by Layton, has been funded though a city council-issued 20-year sales-tax revenue bond, said city finance director Kent Clark.

The court is leasing the building and will make payments each year. The police department share will come from the city's budget.

Justice has been served at the old Thurber School building at 40 S. Main since May 1986, without any upgrades or additions, said Linda Douglas, assistant clerk of court.

The four clerks and one part-time clerk have been squeezing more and more work into the space because of the city's growing population, Douglas said.

The 4th District Court hears 65 to 70 criminal cases twice a week and additional small claims each week.

The old courtroom had only a few chairs for audience members and prisoners were brought in through the main, and only, public door, after walking in the building's front entrance and through the metal detectors used to scan patrons.

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