One of the primary functions of the Space and Facilities Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) is to strategically plan for expanding, renovating, or closing existing court facilities and constructing new courthouses. This planning requires accurate projections of the judiciary’s space needs and an understanding of the design guidelines for the types of spaces found in federal courthouses (i.e., courtrooms, judges’ chambers, jury assembly rooms, court clerks’ offices, etc.). These space guidelines are enumerated in the U.S. Courts Design Guide.
In the early 1990s, Fentress developed the first AnyCourt application – an automated version of the U.S. Courts Design Guide used to calculate space needs based upon projected court personnel. The first application was originally developed in Quattro Pro and then using Visual Basic. The AnyCourt model is currently an on-line application that is used by court managers around the country to calculate space needs. The application is designed enter specific parameters for a court space (ex: number of judges projected in 10 years) and the application generates the corresponding space needs, including the square feet of required facility space and other related spaces (i.e., a new courtroom might require an additional judge’s chambers and office space for support personnel). In addition to maintaining the AnyCourt application, Fentress is involved in generating the AnyCourt output to support the AOUSC in a variety of requests and special studies. Fentress staff have also participated in a Judiciary-wide effort to review and update the U.S. Courts Design Guide and apply the resulting changes to the AnyCourt application. Fentress maintains a record of Design Guide changes and their impact on the AnyCourt.
The AnyCourt application has provided the AOUSC with an automated tool that efficiently and effectively generates the space needs associated with current and projected personnel requirements. This tool, which Fentress has maintained and updated for over 15 years, has supported the AOUSC in strategically planning for the judiciary’s space needs.