Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown today announced the opening of the new Records Storage and Digital Imaging Center located at 1330 S. 54th Avenue in Cicero, Illinois.
The facility represents the first step in modernizing the records storage and digital imaging process for the Cook County Court System, allowing the County to consolidate more than one million boxes of records from multiple locations for digitization.
Providing quick and efficient access to court records is an essential function of Cook County government. This Records Storage and Digital Imaging Center for our Court System highlights two of my most important goals: proactively using technology to modernize our operations, and improving efficiency in the use of County-leased and owned properties, which includes rethinking our storage space,” President Preckwinkle said.
The County’s original plan for creating a storage solution was to renovate the existing Hawthorne warehouse in the North Lawndale neighborhood. That project was estimated to cost $34 million. The total cost of purchasing and renovating the 260,728 square foot Cicero building was $24.2 million, representing a $10 million savings.
“The vastness and strategic design of this new facility allows for the well-organized storage and rapid retrieval of the records currently contained in 1.1 million boxes of court documents,” Clerk Brown said. “To date, the Clerk’s Office has digitized more than 95 million court documents, and the ongoing scanning and electronic storage of court records vastly improves the public’s access to court documents, and enhances the Clerk’s Office’s ability to electronically transmit court information among justice agencies and to the media.
“Although the Supreme Court mandates that the Clerk’s Office maintain a paper copy of each court record,” Clerk Brown said, “we are preparing for the time when the electronic record will be approved as the official court record. The operations that will occur at this Records Storage and Digital Imaging Center are central to the transformation to a ‘paperless’ Clerk’s Office of the future.”