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Courthouse Consulting

Fentress has provided services to nearly 1,000 court facilities across every state in the nation.

Facility Planning and Analysis | Fentress Incorporated

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Our savings strategies have reduced real property expenditures by millions of dollars.


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Worked in Over 1,500 Facilities Throughout the Nation

Fentress Covers the Country

We have assisted our clients in justifying project needs and acquiring over three billion dollars in funding for facility projects by providing a combination of architectural assessments supported by rigorous data analyses, and an expert understanding of the interrelationships between physical facilities and organizational missions. To learn more about our facility planning and analysis capabilities visit our services page.

Recent News

  • Courthouse Planning in Southern Texas
    Courthouse Planning in Southern Texas
    Feb 03, 2017

    Fentress recently visited the Southern District of Texas to evaluate existing facilities and develop future housing solutions for federal courthouses in Brownsville, Corpus [caption id="attachment_3483" align="alignright" width="300"] Corpus Christi Federal Courthouse[/caption] Christi, Galveston, Houston, Laredo, McAllen, and Victoria.   Three of the district’s courthouses were constructed within the past 20 years and meet most modern security and functional standards.  These include the three-story Corpus Christi Federal Courthouse, which is situated on Corpus Christi Bay and is made of Texas shell limestone with a red clay tile roof. The district’s other courthouses vary in age and exhibit a range of issues, none more pressing than in McAllen.  Housed in what is essentially a leased, 1980s-era office building, the court is managing one of the busiest criminal dockets in the nation, given its proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border.  Law enforcement initiatives and population growth along the border contributed to growth in caseload, judgeships, and staff, which in turn forced the court to expand its presence in a facility that is poorly suited to modern court operations.  Judges, Congressional representatives, and other officials are concerned with the situation and seeking an alternate housing solution.  Fentress is working collaboratively with the court and other stakeholders to update forecasts and space condition assessments, and to identify options for suitable long-term housing arrangements in McAllen, as well as the other locations.

  • Fentress Works in San Francisco
    Fentress Works in San Francisco
    Feb 03, 2017

    Fentress assessed space needs for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  The largest of 12 regional federal appellate courts, the 9th Circuit covers 15 District Courts in the western U.S. [caption id="attachment_3480" align="alignleft" width="300"] Courtroom at 9th Circuit Headquarters in San Francisco[/caption] and Pacific Islands.  As part of the planning effort, Fentress assessed courthouses in Pasadena, CA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA.  The circuit’s administrative headquarters and main library are located in the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco.  Completed in 1905 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the granite-clad Browning Courthouse has a remarkable history. In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco and although the courthouse sustained fire damage to the 3rd floor, it was one of the only structures in San Francisco left standing.  It was viewed as a symbol of hope to those who survived the disaster.  In 1989, the courthouse sustained substantial structural damage during the Loma Prieta earthquake.  As a result of unsafe conditions, the 9th Circuit temporarily relocated from the Browning Courthouse until 1996, when a $91 million renovation to repair and restore the courthouse was completed.  Since then, the courthouse has been maintained in excellent condition and is one of the most visually impressive courthouses in the nation.  Public tours can be arranged by contacting the circuit.  The following video (linked from the circuit’s webpage) provides a detailed history of the courthouse and its importance to those it serves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5pn0kAir88  

  • Fentress celebrates the holidays at The Kitchen Studios
    Fentress celebrates the holidays at The Kitchen Studios
    Dec 24, 2016

    [caption id="attachment_3436" align="alignright" width="314"] The Fentress team at Kitchen Studios.[/caption] The Fentress team held its 2016 holiday event at The Kitchen Studios Cooking School in Frederick, Maryland.  Our goal was to cook a meal together, eat our creations, and enjoy each other's company. Kitchen Studios delivered!  Knowledgeable and friendly staff provided witty instruction and helped us with the cooking, and did everything to make sure our event was a success.  We had a blast – it was wonderful for team building and, oh yeah, the food was good too!

  • Fentress Works in Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands
    Fentress Works in Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands
    Sep 29, 2016

    [caption id="attachment_3350" align="alignleft" width="524"]Mural in Honolulu Courtroom Mural in Honolulu Courtroom[/caption] In late August, a team of Fentress employees conducted long-range facilities planning sessions for three federal court districts in the Pacific: Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan); Guam (Hagatna); and Hawaii (Honolulu).  The team helped plan for future space needs and assessed the condition of space within each court facility in these three locations. In Saipan, the court and GSA are in the planning stages for a new leased facility to house the court family. The long-range facilities plan produced for this district will help in the planning for this transition. The court occupies leased space in Guam in a facility that was constructed under prospectus level almost 20 years ago. In Honolulu, a $120 million Recovery Act renovation project was completed in December 2014, essentially taking the building down to the studs to modernize and upgrade this 1970s facility throughout. The team greatly enjoyed learning about the many interesting political, cultural, and geographical nuances of these three Pacific districts.

More News

From Our Blog

  • Tomorrow’s Office: How Virtual Will the Reality Be?
    Tomorrow’s Office: How Virtual Will the Reality Be?
    Mar 23, 2017

    By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect As an architect who focuses on space transition projects, my goal is to move an organization’s facilities from traditional to more collaborative and mobile. But I also try to look beyond today’s needs to future work practices and office designs. I ... Read more

  • Transitioning from Court Work to Telework
    Transitioning from Court Work to Telework
    Mar 16, 2017

    By Mary Talley, Senior Court Analyst In recent years, teleworking has become an increasingly popular trend. Organizations are shrinking office space and dramatically reducing rent budgets. While there will always be jobs that cannot be done remotely – retail work, positions that require direct customer contact, etc. ... Read more

  • Is Vacant Space an Undiscovered Asset in your Office?
    Is Vacant Space an Undiscovered Asset in your Office?
    Mar 09, 2017

    By Danny Rupp, Web Developer/Architectural Designer Are you aware of how much vacant space you are currently paying for in your office? You may occasionally walk around and notice one or two empty offices or workstations and not think much of it. But if you add up ... Read more

  • Building Upon History: A Historic Courthouse Renovation Success Story
    Building Upon History: A Historic Courthouse Renovation Success Story
    Mar 02, 2017

    By Ted Prestogeorge, Senior Architectural Consultant Each year, I assess more than two dozen courthouses of varying size and character. At the end of each assessment, I recommend an architectural approach to meet the current and future space needs of the court. For historic courthouses with strict ... Read more

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