NH BAR GUIDE TO THE NASHUA COURTHOUSE
Hillsborough North Superior Court Opens in Nashua
Temporary Move Completed to Allow for Manchester Renovations
JANUARY 4, 2010—Hillsborough Superior Court North operations officially resumed today at the court's temporary location at the Spring Street courthouse in Nashua after more than 1,400 boxes of case files, as well as work stations and furniture, were moved out of the court's Manchester building to allow for asbestos abatement and renovation.
The temporary relocation of one of the state's busiest Superior Courts included shifting and reconnecting all computer operations from Hillsborough North to the Nashua site. Hillsborough North and Hillsborough South will retain separate court operations for the duration of the temporary relocation. Some surplus items left behind in the Chestnut Street building after last week's move, including oak benches from the courthouse corridors and furniture from judges' chambers, will be shipped out Tuesday to be used in District courthouses in Berlin and Goffstown.
Located in the heart of Manchester's downtown area, the Chestnut Street building has been a cornerstone of the city's busy legal community since it opened in 1969. Hillsborough North Judges and staff are scheduled to return to the Manchester building in July 2011 once renovations are completed. Renderings of the newly renovated courthouse, which will have a redesigned façade and completely new interior, are posted on the Judicial Branch website.
"The move itself was a substantial undertaking which required the cooperative efforts of the staff of both the Hillsborough-North and the Hillsborough-South Superior Courts, as well as that of the department of administrative services and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office," said Superior Court Chief Justice Robert J. Lynn. "We are grateful for the hard work and 'can-do' spirit shown by everyone involved, as a result of which the move was accomplished on schedule and without significant difficulties. Both Hillsborough-North and Hillsborough-South Superior Courts will be opened for business as planned beginning Monday morning, January 4, 2010 at 8:00 a.m.", Lynn added.
Hillsborough North Superior Court clerk John Safford, and Hillsborough South clerk Marshall Buttrick, commended both the team from the Bureau of Court Facilities at Department of Administrative services, which planned and supervised the move, and the Administrative Office of the Courts, whose technical staff completed computer assembly and operations ahead of schedule.
"Our thanks to all for their patience and understanding in making this relocation as seamless as possible," Safford said.
Superior Court Judge William Groff, the supervisory judge at Hillsborough South and Stephen Lorentzen, the administrator of the Bureau of Court Facilities, led a project management team from both the Nashua and Manchester courts that was organized in September 2008 to begin planning for the temporary relocation. A detailed record of the work of the project management team, and its meetings with lawyers and law enforcement officials and others impacted by the temporary move, is available on the Judicial Branch website.
Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau and her staff also met with state and court officials to address parking and other issues impacted by temporarily doubling activity at the Spring Street courthouse, which is located in a downtown Nashua neighborhood.
"I want to thank everyone involved who helped make today possible," Supreme Court Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr. said. "Although there will be inconvenience for court staff, the bar and the public over the next 18 months, when the new Superior Court facility in Manchester opens its doors in the summer of 2011, it will be housed in a modern state-of-the-art building. It will prove to be worth the wait," the Chief Justice said.
Broderick, and Commissioner of Administrative Services Linda Hodgdon, worked closely with lawmakers to secure funding for long- needed renovation of the Manchester courthouse. Because of the widespread presence of intact asbestos in the building, and the potential health risk to employees if that material was disturbed during renovations, state officials and environmental experts agreed the building had to be vacated before abatement and renovation could begin. A legislative working group, led by Sen. Lou D'Allessandro of Manchester, began examining various options for addressing the asbestos issue in February 2008.
Once the state legislature and Gov. John Lynch agreed in July 2009 to appropriate $17 million in capital funding for asbestos abatement, gutting and renovation at the existing court building on Chestnut Street, the move date to vacate the building was set and extensive logistical planning began, coordinated by Sarah Lineberry from the Bureau of Court Facilities. Gary Fowler from the AOC staff played a key role in configuring space for the Hillsborough North judges and staff in the existing space at the Nashua courthouse. Peter Goodwin from the Bureau of Court Facilities, building supervisors Bobby Girard from Hillsborough North and Steve Liss from Hillsborough South, maintenance assistant Paul Bebas and records management clerk DanLabrie from the AOC were also involved in planning and executing the temporary relocation from Manchester to Nashua. Renovations at Hillsborough South were completed by Rick Cote and Gary Fields, both from the Bureau of Court Facilities. Dena Rae, Kevin Crutchfield, Herney Londono and Sue Flaherty, worked with the court staff at Hillsborough North to pack up thousands of case files.
About 40 judges, court monitors, law clerks and court staff, as well as court security officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriffs office have relocated from Manchester to Nashua. The total cost of the move and needed renovations at the Nashua building was $45,000.
"We welcome our colleagues and coworkers from Hillsborough North and we look forward to working beside them during this temporary relocation," Hillsborough south clerk Marshall Buttrick said. About 40 judges, marital masters and court and security staff work for Hillsborough South at the Spring Street courthouse.
The Hillsborough County Probate Court registers office remains in its current location at the Spring Street Courthouse in Nashua. Starting on January 13, probate proceedings that had been conducted at the courthouse on Chestnut Street in Manchester will now be conducted Wednesday through Friday at the Manchester District Court and Family Division building on Amherst Street. The marital division that had been located at the courthouse on Chestnut Street in Manchester is now part of the new Manchester Family Division at the Amherst Street courthouse.