Ward County Office Expansion
This project includes the expansion of the Ward County Government Campus to include an addition to their jail, a courthouse remodel, and a new four-story office building. Wells Concrete provided insulated architectural wall panels with an acid etch finish with reveals. The challenge with this project was to match the color of the existing limestone on the original structure. We were able to achieve a color similar to the original structure and provide a finish that was aesthetically pleasing to all parties involved using different dyes and aggregates in the precast.
The new Ward County Office Building is designed as a minimalist companion to the 1929 Courthouse. Its form opens to the courthouse and creates an inviting forecourt connection to the existing plaza that has become the new front door to the Ward County campus. The County is currently in the final planning stages of renovating the Courthouse and a new jail expansion on site is under construction, which Wells Concrete is also involved. With the completion of these projects, along with the opening of the new office building, the county’s vision for a single “go to” campus for all its services will be realized.
The office building will be connected to the existing County Courthouse with a skyway and new welcoming pedestrian plaza. Inside, the light-filled atrium provides internal orientation to visitors and brings natural light into internal spaces. The office building houses the Ward County library, social services, county commissioner’s room, and additional county functions. While the building is designed to be energy-efficient inside and out, the most unique sustainable feature is a silk screen pattern on the curtain wall to reduce solar heat gain.
Wells Concrete provided insulated architectural wall panels for this project with an acid etch finish with reveals. The challenge with this project was to match the color of the existing limestone on the original structure. We were able to achieve a color similar to the original structure and provide a finish that was aesthetically pleasing to all parties involved using different dyes and aggregates in the precast.
Several departments will be moving from the existing courthouse building to the new office building. The existing courthouse building will be renovated to better accommodate the departments which are remaining in the building without affecting the historic integrity of the facility. Those departments include Juvenile Probation, State’s Attorney, Veteran’s Administration and NDSU Extension Services.
The South wing of the new office building was set back from the main street entrance in alignment with the historic courthouse – to respect the courthouse and to create a forecourt that connects to the courthouse entry plaza. The radius geometry of the South wing draws people arriving from the parking lot across the street thru the forecourt to the main entry.