Plans for a proposed for a new courthouse in Springfield unveiled

Plans for a proposed for a new courthouse in Springfield unveiled
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Springfield city officials are proposing a new location for the Springfield courthouse. The question now is will the trial court jump on the opportunity.

A feasibility study still needs to be conducted on the Roderick Ireland Courthouse, to see if it’s necessary to build a new courthouse due to dangerous mold and other health hazards. But Springfield city leaders are saying that there is a location for the new building, and a means to build it.

Springfield City leaders gathered on Thursday to unveil a new plan that’s been in the works for quite some time. Peter Picknelly, chairman of Peter Pan Bus Lines, is proposing a new development opportunity, that includes building a new courthouse for Springfield. Mayor Dominic Sarno is in full support of this.

“They can’t come back and say we’d love to do it in Springfield, but we don’t have a site for it. Well, I have a site, we have a site,” Sarno said.

Toxic mold was found inside the Roderick Ireland Courthouse. Courthouse employees and the trial court reached a settlement, that the trial court would conduct a feasibility study to see if a new courthouse needs to be built.

Co-counsel for those employees, Jeff Morneau, told Western Mass News that he is hopeful this new opportunity will encourage the trial court to lean toward a new building.

“The more options we have available here in western Mass., the better off we are all going to be,” Morneau explained.

The new courthouse would be built on the North side of the river. Picknelly is proposing that his company build the courthouse, and lease it to the state, which would create hundreds of jobs in the city of Springfield. Connecticut River, North of the Memorial Bridge that will spawn all future activity.

It would make sure preventative maintenance is done, to prevent any other issues.

“We control the site, that’s very important,” Sarno said.

Picknelly already submitted this plan to the trial court Thursday morning. The study will still need to be completed, and it’s assumed the trial court will have to accept bids from other companies as well...

But, everyone involved is hopeful.

It’s important to note the Roderick Ireland Courthouse will be closed Friday through Tuesday morning for deep cleaning, which was outlined in the settlement as well.