Construction of Judicial Center to begin this summer

The Lowell Sun reports today that work will commence on the city’s new Judicial Center this summer. Expected to cost $175 million dollars and take 30 months to construct at the end of Jackson Street, the new facility will house all court operations in Lowell including Superior, District, Juvenile, Housing and Probate. The article also reports that the city’s state house delegation is arranging a meeting in the coming days with the Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM), the state agency responsible for all state buildings, to discuss the future use of the current Superior and District Courthouses.

UPDATE: March 7, 2011 – I’ve been informed that when it said that construction will start “next” summer, it meant the summer after next – that is, the summer of 2012, not the one that starts in a couple of months. The 30 month timetable remains as does the 2015 opening.

4 Responses to Construction of Judicial Center to begin this summer

  1. JoeS says:

    That schedule appears to be an acceleration of what has been published lately. It should be good news for the overall development of the Hamilton Canal District, as this court complex should be a stimulus for commercial development in the neighborhood. Although it is recognized that there is only one private-sector building in the plan that directly links to the courthouse, the extra activity brought by the court complex should ripple through the entire area. In addtion, there is quite a bit of roadway improvements that should be started to provide the access that the site will need. Let’s hope it really starts this summer as stated in the article.

  2. JoeS says:

    After looking at the timeline, the project “start” may need some clarification.

    First of all, the article states a 30-month construction period, but notes a late 2014 or early 2015 opening. If construction were to start July 1st, 2011 and last 30 months, then the completion of the building would be December 31st, 2013. If so, why would opening be delayed until 12 months later?

    Looking at the DCAM recent (February 10th, 2011) presentation:

    It shows the Lowell Trial Court in the “study” phase, where other projects are in the “design” phase. It seems that the Lowell Trial Court has to advance to the next stage well before construction actually begins.

    So the likely intention of today’s announcement is that the State will advance the project to the detailed design phase this summer with FY 2012 funding allocation. That would probably lead to actual construction funding in the FY 2013 budget, with a start of construction no sooner than the summer of 2012.

    So although it is a giant step, today’s announcement may not mean any visible work at the site this summer.

  3. Arthur says:

    The idea that “the extra activity brought by the court complex should ripple through the entire area ” eludes me .
    All that is happening is that three existing courthouse are coalescing into one – perhaps the activity that sprung up beside them will relocate , but there is no reason to suspect that some new spin off will emerge .
    The Fenton Judicial Center in Lawrence has been in use for a few years now and so far as I can tell nothing has resulted from the extra activity that brought to that area .

  4. JoeS says:

    By focusing the courts into a single area the activity will rise to the critical mass that should encourage business development in the area. Hopefully, good usage will be made of the abandoned facilities to preserve whatever economic vitality currently exists in those locations.