HOULTON, Maine — After extensive reconstruction, the halls of the Aroostook County Superior Courthouse in Houlton again will be flooded with people now that the facility has received a face-lift.
Aroostook County Administrator Doug Beaulieu told Aroostook County commissioners during its Wednesday evening meeting that a grand opening ceremony is planned for April 17.
The court had asked the Legislature for bonding authority to spend up to $2.5 million on the consolidation project, and the Legislature agreed to move forward with it.
Construction began last spring. Officials predicted the project would be completed in April 2009.
The $2.5 million renovation project will combine the offices of Houlton District Court and the Superior Court under one roof.
Since a pipe burst in the District Court building nearly two years ago, Houlton District Court clerks have been working in the Superior Court building, which prompted county officials to think about a permanent consolidation.
The second and third floors of the Superior Court have undergone extensive renovation. A second courtroom has been created, and a clerk’s office will be located on the second floor. The third floor will house another clerk’s office, a jury deliberation room and a law library. The library will be upgraded to include more com-puter 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.
The Superior Court in Houlton has been hearing cases at the Caribou Superior Court building during Houlton’s construction period.
Beaulieu said that court personnel displaced by the project were scheduled to move back into the building next week.
“It is amazing that a project of this magnitude is coming together so well and is on time,” Beaulieu said.
“It is nice to see it come to fruition,” Chairman Paul Adams agreed Wednesday evening.