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Commissioners prepared to move from Pa. courthouse

January 09, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The boxes are ready to be packed, but there is currently no timeline for moving the office of the Franklin County Commissioners out of the courthouse.

The Board of Commissioners approved a management plan in October that included moving its own office and the office of the Comptroller out of the Franklin County Courthouse to free up space for a new courtroom.

Officials had hoped to make the move to the county's Administrative Annex at 218 N. Second St. in Chambersburg by the end of 2002. One week into the new year, however, there are still details to nail down before any packing can be done.

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"There are a couple of options we are looking at," County Administrator John Hart said. "As far as when and where, that is not decided."

One hitch is finding a new location for the Office of Aging, whose space in the annex the commissioners would take over.

"There are just a number of different things from working out a lease agreement for adequate space and rent. There are so many variables," Hart said.

But once things line up, everyone is ready to proceed.

"We have boxes and are ready to pack. Once we make a decision we can move fairly quickly," he said.

Once the offices relocate, the space on the second floor of the Franklin County Courthouse on Lincoln Way East will be turned into a fourth courtroom, judge's chambers, a hearing room and small office for probation officers, Hart said.

The Clerk of Courts office, also on the second floor, will not change.

Construction on the new courtroom will take several months, he said.

It will replace the current cramped, makeshift courtroom that has been used since a fourth judgeship was created in 1997.

Hart said eventually the senior center at the Administrative Annex will also move to a new location.

The commissioners will use the existing community room in the annex as their hearing room.

Discussions on shuffling the offices began about a year ago, Hart said.

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