Friday, October 31, 2008

PA Judicial Center Under Construction

On the redesigned website of the Pennsylvania Unified Judiciary, one web page is dedicated to the Pennsylvania Judicial Center presently under construction at 601 Commonwealth Avenue, in Harrisburg, PA.

According to the PA Department of General Services, the Pennsylvania courts' new centralizing facility will open in Summer, 2009. I previously noted its construction when the steel was being installed. See: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "
New PA Judicial Center Under Construction" (05/09/07).

The PA Unified Judiciary's website describes the facility as follows:
The Pennsylvania Judicial Center, located in Harrisburg's historical Capitol Complex, will serve as the administrative center for Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System. It will contain office space for more than 500 employees, three Commonwealth Court courtrooms and a conference and training center.

Occupants of the judicial center will include the Supreme Court Middle District prothonotary, the executive administrator of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court Middle District prothonotary, the Commonwealth Court, the AOPC and various Supreme Court boards and committees. The Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline will also have offices in the center.

Construction on the project began in 2006. The center is expected to open in mid-2009.

The center was designed by the Philadelphia architectural and engineering firm Vitetta.
According to the website of JBC Associates, Inc., which is involved in managing construction, the facility will have three major areas:
The new 423,600 SF state judicial center has three major areas planned including
  • a 9 story tower which will house office and conference rooms for judges and their staff,
  • a 5 story wing which will house three courtrooms, judges’ chambers and other administrative space and
  • an additional information support area with underground parking.
The exterior fa├žade will be wrapped in limestone and glass that will open onto 7th Street. * * *
The facility will become home to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, which anticipates the move, as noted in a description on its website:
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, often referred to by its acronym as AOPC, is the administrative arm of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This office was established in 1969 to assist the court in operating the Pennsylvania court system.

The AOPC is headed by the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania. Its departments include Policy and Research, Judicial Services, Judicial Education, Judicial Programs, Judicial Automation, Judicial Security, Legal, Finance, Human Resources, and Communications and Legislative Affairs.

The AOPC has offices in Mechanicsburg and Philadelphia,
but soon will be based in the new state Judicial Center on Capitol Hill in Harrisburg. [Emphasis added.]
For more photos of the PA Judicial Center during its construction progress, see:
* * *
"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us."

-- Winston Churchill

Update: 07/10/09:

The Pennsylvania Judicial Center is open for occupancy. See: PA EE&F Law Blog post "
New PA Judicial Center Open for Occupancy" (07/10/09).