Employees in the Delaware city prosecutor's office are breathing easier these days -- literally.

Employees in the Delaware city prosecutor's office are breathing easier these days -- literally.

With the completion of the $2.3-million, 8,200-square-foot addition to the Delaware Justice Center, the prosecutor's office doubled its size from 1,000 square feet to nearly 2,000 square feet, said city prosecutor Peter Ruffing.

The building also houses the Delaware Municipal Court and municipal clerk of court's office, and the city police department, all of which gained expanded space in the yearlong construction.

The city borrowed the money to pay for the addition that took the building from 26,632 to nearly 35,000 square feet, said Dean Stelzer, city finance director, and hopes to pay it back entirely with impact fees.

This was the first physical expansion to the building since it opened in 1992, Municipal Court Judge David Gormley said.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer will speak at the addition's dedication ceremony -- 2 p.m. April 28 -- just as he did when the original building was dedicated 17 years ago, Gormley said. Other speakers at the dedication ceremony will include Delaware Mayor Windell Wheeler, city councilman Joseph DiGenova and city manager Thomas Homan.

Not only did he gain much-needed space, Ruffing said, the new offices also have improved security.

The old space had one door in and out, he said. "Anybody could walk in and really have their way with the entire office and there was no way out except one door." Visitors now come through the public door and there is a second door with an electronic lock between them and the administrative assistants. There also is a second exit that employees can use.

The new space allowed the addition of a police department conference room and a community meeting room, police chief Russ Martin said.

He also expanded work stations for the school resource officers, detectives, sergeants and patrol officers. The chief got a new office in the deal, but has yet to move into it.

"To be honest, I am very content where I am and when the time is right I will make the move," he said.

The completion of the work couldn't have come soon enough for Gormley.

In 2008, Gormley joined Judge David Sunderman at the municipal court as it moved from a one-judge to a two-judge court. Since then, Gormley shared one of the two courtrooms with a magistrate.

The new addition includes a third courtroom, which has been assigned to the magistrate.

Gormley's courtroom has been renovated as well, with an additional bench to expand seating for jury panels and arraignments, when large groups of people are in the courtroom.

"I no longer have to juggle my schedule to use the courtroom or swap with Judge Sunderman when I have a jury trial," Gormley said. Previously, if Gormley needed the courtroom the magistrate held hearings in a conference room.

"It's just not a proper setting to have a court hearing," he said.

The court expansion also included additional conference rooms for attorneys to meet with clients and offices for the probation and community control officers.

"One probation officer had to meet with clients in an open area that was not very proper and could be upsetting to those around him," the judge said. There is also a new bathroom that probation officers can use for drug testing.

Clerk of courts Cindy Dinovo has more space in her area.

"We're not doubled up anymore with people sharing desks. Everyone has their own space and we moved (the) civil (division) into its own area away from the criminal division, which can get pretty noisy," she said.

More than 22,000 cases are filed with the municipal court annually, and that number has risen steadily as the county's population has grown, Gormley said. About 15,000 cases were filed at the court when it moved to the building in 1992, after sharing space at city hall from 1954 to 1992.