Pierce County leaders kicked off Juror Appreciation Week (May 18-22) by highlighting several projects designed to make the jury experience more comfortable.
The Facilities Management Department recently completed a new outdoor patio next to the jury assembly room, installed new digital locks on the juror lockers, and built a canopy outside the second-floor entrance to the County-City Building to shield visitors as they queue up to enter the building.
Those improvements were celebrated during a brief ceremony with County Executive Pat McCarthy, Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin and County Councilmembers Joyce McDonald, Jim McCune and Doug Richardson. Jurors were greeted with cake, balloons and snacks provided by the courts, the Executive’s office and Facilities Management.
The enclosed jury assembly patio replaces old landscaping and features a spacious covered patio with seating where jurors can go outside to relax, eat lunch or visit without having to re-enter the courthouse and endure the security screening process multiple times.
“This new area is a great place for jurors to come and literally get a breath of fresh air. Trials are often full of heavy information, and having a place for a juror to come and get a break is very helpful and reduces stress,” said Judge Martin.
The new canopy outside of second-floor entrance was designed by Facilities Management’s Construction Project Manager, Brian Lyman, and fabricated and installed by an outside contractor. The covered entrance features protection from the outdoor elements and energy-efficient LED lighting. It functions to streamline the security screening process.
“I used to give away more umbrellas as I entered the building, seeing people standing in the security line and soaking wet. But not anymore!” Councilmember McDonald said.
Though Pierce County has dedicated one week in May as Juror Appreciation week, departments throughout the County work hard all year to improve juror areas and the overall experience for the 80,000 people who are summoned each year to perform this important civic duty.