Local lawmakers file bill amendment for funding for new Springfield courthouse

Efforts are underway at the State House to provide funding to build a new courthouse in Springfield.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 4:13 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Efforts are underway at the State House to provide funding to build a new courthouse in Springfield. This new building would replace the mold-damaged Roderick Ireland Courthouse if a study finds a new building to be necessary.

Two state representatives have filed an amendment that would allocate millions of dollars to building a new courthouse.

Last week, the Massachusetts Trial Court and employees of the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield announced their settlement agreement after toxic mold and other health hazards were found inside the building. As a part of that settlement, a feasibility study will be conducted by next summer to decide if a new courthouse would need to be built.

If that decision is made, that building process could take years.

“We are trying to be ahead of the eight ball and try to have the funding in place,” said Rep. Carlos Gonzalez.

That’s why Gonzalez and fellow State Representative Jacob Oliveira are taking steps now to allocate funding for the courthouse.

“I think it’s important to address this from a funding perspective immediately because it can take 10 to 15 years to find appropriations,” Gonzalez added.

They’ve filed an amendment to the infrastructure bond bill before the House of Representatives that would provide $220 million for a new courthouse. This money would only be allocated if the feasibility study finds a new courthouse would be a better move than the current plan to renovate the building.

[Reporter: …And if the feasibility study finds that it does not need to be replaced?]

“Then the money does not need to be appropriated,” Gonzalez said.

Western Mass News checked in with Jeff Morneau, the attorney representing the employees in the lawsuit. He said expediting this process would be great for his clients.

“In the event that this feasibility study comes in and a new courthouse is part of the plan, we will be ready, the legislature will be ready to go,” Morneau explained.

Gonzalez said the House of Representatives will be discussing and voting on this amendment in the next couple of days.