Update from Steve Lorentzen, Administrative Services Bureau of Court Facilities
The Candia Courthouse is a new 8,000 square foot facility that replaces the Auburn District Courthouse. Construction began in late November 2007. The state will lease the courthouse from the owner. The scheduled move-in date is the week of July 21, 2008. The courthouse has two courtrooms, a large clerical area, and two holding cells with interview rooms. It is located directly across from the Post Office.
Pending Governor and Executive Council approval, a new Goffstown District Court will be located in renovated space on the second floor of the Hillsborough County Administrative Building in Goffstown, known as the Bouchard Building. The courth space will be leased to the state by Hillsborough County. current estimated completion date is December 2008 assuming a late June 2008 start date.
The current courthouse is located in the basement of the Goffstown Town Hall. Construction at the new location is likely to begin immediately following Governor and Council approval and will consist of renovating approximately 8,400 square feet of space: 7,442 square feet for the District Court and another 900 square feet for offices of the Department of Health and Human Services. There will be one regular sized courtroom and one small hearing room. Three public counters, ample clerical space, judges chambers, and a small lounge area are all on the second floor. A storage room is in the basement.
The City of Laconia transferred ownership of the old Laconia High School that was constructed in the 1800s to the State. The Laconia District Courthouse was located in this same building and has temporarily moved to Fair Street in Laconia during the duration of the construction project. Work began in September 2007 on the renovation of 18,000 square feet of space representing the old schoolhouse, and on the construction of another 4,800 square feet of space for an addition off of the back of the building. This will be a state-owned facility with space for both the Laconia District Court and Family Division. The estimated completion date is December 2008 with move-in shortly thereafter.
There are two Issues/Hearings courtrooms on the third floor, two courtrooms on the second floor (a large arraignment and regular courtroom), clerical spaces and counters on the first floor, and storage, Sally Port and holding cells in the basement. Judges chambers are on the second and third floors in the addition.
The Town of Merrimack transferred ownership of a parcel of land to the State in May/June 2008 to be used as the site for a new Merrimack District Courthouse. The land is in the Town Hall Complex near the rented space used for the existing Merrimack District Courthouse.
The new state-owned courthouse will be 24,000 square feet and will be based on the Dover, Jaffrey, and Plymouth building designs. Finalization of a program, site review activities, and the design of the new courthouse should begin in July/August 2008. We estimate 18 months from the beginning of design work to the completion of the construction, which would mean a Jan - March 2010 move-in estimate.
The Manchester District Court building will undergo renovations on the first floor, and a small portion of the second floor, to house the Family Division. Approximately 11,400 square feet of space will be renovated. Subject to the Governor's approval and signature, funding for the renovations has been appropriated by the legislature in June 2008 and architect selection should begin in July 2008. The current estimated completion of construction is December 2009.
Funding has also been appropriated by the legislature, subject to the Governor's approval and signature, for design of new space for the Hillsborough County Superior Court North. The current plan calls for all personnel to be moved out of the courthouse in December 2009 so that the renovation work could begin, starting with the asbestos abatement. Superior Court and Probate personnel would relocate to Hillsborough South Superior Court in Nashua during the duration of the project. Marital staff would relocate to the Manchester District Court which would be renovated to accommodate opening the Family Division.
Administrative Services projects that the work on the Hillsborough North courthouse will be completed by July 2011, subject to approved capital spending for construction, at which time all Superior and Probate Court personnel would return to the Manchester location. The Family Division would remain in the Manchester District Court.