Both studies said we will need seven judges by the year 2028, and that's less than 20 years. What happens after 2028? That's another issue that's causing us to look at facilities that won't just serve us today and a few years down the road. What will we do that a future board will someday look at us and say 'thank you' for making a hard decision?
Regarding the additional courts, and if you're 50 years or older, you can remember when we had one judge. It's been about every 10 years we have another judge appointed, and it's not just done for the fun of it. New judges are appointed based on documented need, and the Pennsylvania legislature has to agree. Looking at that, it's not hard to imagine that a 20-year projection would say two more. That's not hard to imagine at all just looking at history. We are in a growth area. This county is primed between Harrisburg, York and Lancaster, and Baltimore and Washington to the south. We will continue to grow. All planners have said this for years. This is a growth area. It will continue to grow. As long as there is growth, there will be need for additional courts."
2) Describe the courthouse proposals you are seriously considering.
Keller: "There's a recommendation from CGL that we construct a new facility with approximately 134,000 square feet. That in and of itself is being considered. Those numbers are based on national standards.
We are in the process of the programming phase, which looks at our actual operation in light of the national standards and tries to find an appropriate balance. The 134,000 square feet basically is a benchmark, if you will. The final outcome could be more square feet. It could also be less based on the outcome of the programming phase.
In a lot of respects, it'll depend on what the architects and engineers come back with, which is the other part of the proposals that we're looking at. We will be tasking the architects and engineers ... with developing two site options for us -- one here on this block in the central core and the other on the Jennings site. We're not asking them to take any particular drawing or proposal that's been made to this point. We will say, 'OK, this is one of the sites you have to work with and Jennings is the other site. Develop for us two options, having the judicial center on this block or down at the Jennings site.'"
Thomas: "We are presently looking at two locations. One is the so-called Jennings site and the other one is the North Main Street site. Those are being seriously considered at this point.
To be clear: No decision has been made at this point, as has been reported by some newspapers. The recommendations made to us have been for the Jennings site for many reasons, and they may be right. But right now we're looking closely at both locations.
We're getting numbers -- what will it cost if you're here and what will it cost if you're there? What will be your parking accommodations? What will be your expandability?