Officials release list of potential new sites for Roderick Ireland Courthouse
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Division of Asset Capital Management and Maintenance, or DCAMM, has released a list of possible new courthouse locations for the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in downtown Springfield. Western Mass News is getting answers on what that could mean moving forward.
“It’s a location that’s ideal for all the public in a spot that is safe and healthy for everybody who is going to be using it,” said Jeff Morneau, an attorney representing employees in an ongoing lawsuit against the state trial court.
Morneau said that he does not have a preferred location, but he is relieved after years of health concerns for employees inside the courthouse’s walls and pleased about the prospect of finally building a new one.
“We were very excited to see the proposal from the trial court and from DCAMM for a new courthouse that the members of this community deserve,” he told us.
The report lists 13 sites all ranked by score. That score is based on criteria including property ownership, parking, and access to public transportation.
The top option, according to DCAMM’s scores, is to rebuild at 50 State Street, which is the site of the existing courthouse, followed by two sites on Liberty Street.
Two other options exist outside the city limits in East Longmeadow. According to the DCAMM report, officials will now evaluate the top six options, which scored over 130 total points.
“If you found an equally convenient location to 50 State Street, and the riverfront worked, then that would be a fine location,” said Morneau.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has been a vocal supporter of a courthouse on the riverfront in the North End on Avocado Street.
“This has a housing component, and it also has a marina component with a spin-off for restaurants and boutique shops,” he said. “It would be a game changer.”
That site placed 12th out of 13, and he echoed his concerns about rebuilding on State Street, which he claimed would take much longer than his projected timeline of 3-4 years to build on the riverfront.
“There is a tremendous stigma of the environmental health with that situation, and if they’re looking at the current site, that could take a decade to get built,” said Mayor Sarno.
The report also stated that now, DCAMM will visit those half-dozen sites to prepare costs for acquiring and constructing those locations.
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