Court building renovations ahead of schedule

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 20, 2008, at 9:33 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — The dust is thick and the jackhammers can make for quite the cacophony, but the renovation project at the Aroostook County Superior Court building is slightly ahead of schedule, county commissioners said Wednesday.

The commissioners heard the update from County Administrator Doug Beaulieu about the renovation project during their meeting at the Maine District Court building. The $2.5 million renovation project will combine the offices of Houlton District Court and the Superior Court under one roof.

The court asked the Legislature for bonding authority to spend up to $2.5 million on the consolidation project, and the Legislature agreed earlier this year to move forward with it.

The second and third floors of the Superior Court will undergo extensive renovation. A second courtroom will be created and a clerk’s office will be located on the second floor. The third floor will house another clerk’s office, the jury deliberation room and a law library. The library will be upgraded to include more computer terminals and legal research software.

The building also will feature a more secure judge’s chamber, two elevators and a new heating and airflow system.

Beaulieu said that he and Commissioner Paul Underwood had just toured the courthouse and were impressed by what they saw.

“You wouldn’t recognize the place,” Underwood said.

Beaulieu agreed, calling the project “pretty impressive.”

While the renovation is under way, employees at the Registry of Deeds and the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department are remaining in the building. They have been listening to the sound of jackhammers and putting up with a lot of dust, but there have been few complaints. Beaulieu said.

The Superior Court in Houlton has been hearing cases at the Caribou Superior Court building during the construction period.

Beaulieu said that he was told the construction project is slightly ahead of schedule. The refurbished building is set to open in April.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/11/20/news/court-building-renovations-ahead-of-schedule/ printed on July 23, 2014