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Franklin Co. Law Library to move to Heritage Center

December 15, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County will get 2,000 square feet of prime office space next year in an ideal location - the fourth floor of the courthouse annex.

The Franklin County Law Library that now occupies the space will move across Lincoln Way East into the third floor of the Heritage Center building owned by the Chambersburg Area Development Corp. The deal was announced Tuesday during the official dedication of the Heritage Center building.

The 3,000-square-foot third floor also will become the new offices of the Franklin County Bar Association, according to its executive director, Carolyn Seibert-Drager. The association offices are now on Third Street, she said.

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Much of the cost of the project, which bar association past president Philip Cosentino estimated at $380,000, will be paid for by people who often have need of a lawyer. The county has about $229,000 in bail bond forfeiture funds in escrow that will be used toward purchasing and finishing the third floor, he said.

Cosentino said more bail forfeiture funds will be used to complete the project. Work is scheduled to begin in January and the law library could be moved by April, he said.

The price of purchasing the third floor from the development corporation is about $255,000, according to Seibert-Drager.

The county will contribute up to $50,000 and the bar association and the Franklin County Law Library Association will, combined, contribute up to that figure, as well, Cosentino said.

The law library association, run by a court-appointed board, will be the owner of the third floor condominium, Seibert-Drager said.

"The county can certainly use the space for offices up there," G. Warren Elliott, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, said of the annex's fourth floor. The district attorney and public defender offices are both on the fourth floor.

Elliott said the law library's new location still will be close to the courthouse, but attorneys will no longer have to pass through courthouse security to do research. Seibert-Drager said she anticipates the new library will have expanded computer resources and Cosentino said the bar association will have more space for conferences and educational programs for attorneys and the public.

The building, which opened earlier this year, now houses the Heritage Center visitors center, the offices of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster.

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