Bar News - November 13, 2009
Great Expectations: First Look at Manchester Courthouse Design
Manchester Bar Association members were recently treated to a first look at the designs for the renovation of the Hillsborough Superior Court North courthouse, presented by members of Lavallee Brensinger Architects.
The new courthouse design features a new façade with an illuminated glass lobby, skylights in the courtrooms, greater security measures, including a sally port to facilitate the secure entry of prisoners, and a floor plan that allows separate access for court staff on the park-side of the building. The interior of the new courthouse provides much more natural light than the current design. Above, a view of the new façade from the Veteran’s Park side of the building. Below, a facing view of the Veteran’s Park side of the building. Images of the new courthouse designs were provided by Lavallee Brensinger Architects.
At the Manchester Bar’s October 20 meeting, architects discussed the plans for the $19 million project, which include total reconstruction of the interior of the building, necessitated by the need to remove all asbestos. The design features a new façade with an illuminated glass lobby extended to the second floor, and skylights in the courtrooms. The interior boasts rearrangements of space to provide greater security, including a sally port to facilitate the secure entry of prisoners, and a floor plan that allows separate access for court staff on the park-side of the building.
Of particular interest to attorneys, the new design includes sufficient space for attorneys to go through a separate security line, thus allowing the Hillsborough County Sheriff to extend the Security Pilot Project now in Nashua to the Manchester courthouse.
The construction process begins with demolition and asbestos removal in January 2010. Renovation work is expected to begin in April 2010 with completion estimated for June 2011.
Superior Court Chief Justice Robert Lynn also discussed the coming changes caused by the relocation of the Hillsborough-North dockets to the Hillsborough-South courthouse. He reassured the Manchester bar that the Hillsborough North and South dockets, clerks’ desks, and any other court-specific infrastructure would remain segregated.
"We’re headed into uncharted territory, but we’re going to try to retain the status quo wherever possible," said Chief Justice Lynn. "We have a very tremendous facility planned with a little bump in the road before then."
Members were encouraged to participate in the Hillsborough-South Security Pilot Project in order to further smooth the transition. View Submit Your Member Photo for information. Please note: Attorneys must appear in person at the Hillsborough South courthouse to complete the process to obtain the electronic pass card, and must have submitted their photo to the NHBA to be added to the member database.
Chief Justice Lynn said that the city of Nashua has decided to reserve parking at a large parking garage on Elm Street for jurors, which will ease the demand for on-street parking near the courthouse.