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Bar News - September 16, 2011

Hillsborough North Courthouse Reopens Oct. 20

The new courthouse on Chestnut Street is set to open the week of Oct. 17.
The Hillsborough Count Superior Court Northern District moves back to Manchester and into the completely renovated courthouse on Chestnut Street sometime during the week of Oct. 17.

The building has been closed for comprehensive renovation necessitated by asbestos removal since January 2010. The northern district judges and staff were relocated to the southern district courthouse on Spring Street in Nashua during the construction.

The reopening date, originally targeted for Labor Day, was pushed back because the gutting of the building interior and asbestos abatement took longer than expected. Construction also was slowed due to the rainy spring season.

Court officials said the project is on budget, with total project cost, including asbestos abatement, gutting, design and engineering, and construction totalling about $15.6 million.

The new facility will include:
  • Five jury courtrooms and one non-jury courtroom
  • Two dispute resolution (ADR) conference rooms
  • Four courtrooms on the second floor are pre-wired for TV/Radio media.
  • A sally port to allow safer transport of prisoners to/from the building and a building design to allow safe transport of prisoners within the building.
  • Most of the materials removed during the demolition were reused, repurposed or salvaged. For example, heavy granite panels 4 x 10 feet and five inches thick from the front and back of the building were used to form the front plaza of the courthouse on Chestnut Street and for two stair towers.
  • The remaining granite panels stayed in place as part of the newly redesigned facade of the courthouse, which now includes a "glass curtain" on the east and west sides of the building which dramatically improves natural light in the building and helps reduce operating expenses for utilities.
  • Reuse of the granite panels is part of an effort by the state and the architects, Lavelle Brensinger, to achieve gold LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status as a cost saving and energy efficient "green" building certified by the non-profit US Green Building Council.
  • The building will handle video arraignments (not at the opening, but when the approved capital project reaches the Hills North location)
Information supplied by the Judicial Branch Communications Office and the NH Department of Administrative Services, Bureau of Court Facilities.

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