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Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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New Westmoreland Judicial Center to open by March 1

The new $9.3 million Westmoreland County Judicial Center is scheduled to open on or before March 1, according to Westmoreland County Administrator Norm Risavi.

“The project has gone very well,” said Risavi. “We are well within the budget and actually may have a surplus.”  

Risavi said official opening ceremonies for the new juridical center will be scheduled as the actual completion date for the project nears. “I would say it is about 80 percent complete now,” he said.

Workers are painting and doing interior work to finish up the new building, which has been built just north of the county’s currently over-crowded George D. English Building. Risavi said county officials are working to determine the furnishing needs of the new judicial center.

“We are buying some new furniture and using some of the furniture from the offices of those who will be moving into the building,” Risavi said.

The new judicial center will be home to the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Circuit Court Clerk, the General District Court Clerk and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Clerk.  The building will also house the offices of the Probation and Parole department as well as the Victim’s Assistance Office.

The new 40,000 square-foot building will have vastly improved security from the English Building, which currently houses the county courts and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s offices. The need for improved security was one of the primary reasons for the construction of the new judicial center.

“There have been a number of security concerns about our present situation,” said Risavi. “So we are pleased that this is going to solve that problem.”

Risavi said the opening of the new judicial center will also allow those offices remaining in the English Building to remodel and expand so they can operate more efficiently for the taxpayers.  

The clerks and judges who will work out of the new building are especially pleased with its construction. “This will be the heart and centerpiece for this community for decades to come,” said Circuit Court Judge Joseph Ellis.

Richard Leggitt

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