Rock Island Courthouse opens, employees moving in next week

ROCK ISLAND, Ill (KWQC) -- Next week employees at the old Rock Island courthouse will move into their new building. Monday afternoon board members, elected officials, and the public got a first view of the grand opening of the “Annex II building”

“It’s all good in Rock Island County,” said Hon. Walter D. Braud, Chief Judge of Rock Island.

The $28 million county facility that's being called the “Annex II building” includes four court rooms, several offices, two free parking lots, and a library. The new facility comes after the county voted to demolish the old courthouse.

“It will serve the needs of this community for the next 50 years if not longer,” said Hon. Mark VandeWiele, Circuit Judge.

The construction for the building started in April 2017 and getting to this day was not easy, but those involved say it was worth it.

“Just never quit, you just never quit,” said Hon. Braud.

“The other one outlived its usefulness and it could not be reconfigured to meet those codes,” Hon. VandeWiele.

For some the building offers features they never had. For the first time, lawyers will now have a room to speak with their clients.

“Now we have a spot where we can put some of our things down, or maybe even stop and eat some food in between any court appearances and hearings,” said Dora Villarreal, President of the Rock Island County Bar Association.

The money for the “Secure Attorney Work Area” was raised by all local attorneys. As new employees and even old ones leave behind the old courthouse. They say they look forward to what will now become their new home.

“This is a beautiful new building, it's a lovely new facility,” said Clara Delle Thompson, old reporter for the courthouse.
The “Annex II” is connected to the “Annex I” which houses the jail and sheriff's department.

That building was built in 2006. There was some left over money from the “Annex II” project and they plan to fix some things in the “Annex I” building.