January 25, 2018

Franklin County Commissioners Approve Court Facility Improvement Project

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted on Thursday morning to approve a court facility improvement project.

January 25, 2018 – Chambersburg, PA – The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted on Thursday morning to approve the court facility improvement project in an effort to address long-standing concerns of security and public safety, among other issues. The commissioners have been inviting public feedback since the project was first proposed on January 3rd.

“It’s time for us to move forward. Safety and security concerns and concerns with efficiencies have been well documented. This solution is comprehensive and appropriate,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “This project goes back at least 10 years. We’ve been doing band-aid approaches ever since,” said Commissioner Bob Thomas and noted that the last major courthouse expansion was completed in 1979. “Our buildings are all pre-9/11 and were not designed for today’s safety and security standards.”

The board discussed the financial benefits of beginning the project now in light of current interest rates and predictions by the federal government on future inflation. Commissioner Thomas noted that the county has retired a substantial portion of its debt in recent years, which will make it possible to finance the project without a large tax increase.

The new courthouse design intends to be respectful of the historic Old Courthouse, highlighting it as a focal point on the downtown square. Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski said that he has had a number of positive comments about the design and commended the architects involved and present at the meeting, Noelker and Hull Associates and Silling Architects, as having done an extraordinary job.

“Leadership will be very important for this complex project,” said Commissioner Ziobrowski. “We have the right people in place to bring this to fruition.” The commissioners will be looking to Carrie Gray, County Administrator, President Judge Carol Van Horn, and Project Manager, John Hart for guidance through the challenging process.

President Judge Carol Van Horn expressed gratitude to the Board for their attention to this project and believes that the plan will provide for the current and future needs of Franklin County citizens. She stated that the public will immediately sense an increase in security, order and ease of use. Commissioner Thomas mentioned that the building will provide a more convenient flow for everyone, including those with physical disabilities and stated, “The project is necessary and will serve our county well into the future.”

The estimated timeline will be three years for project completion.

To keep the public informed, a project webpage on the county’s website will be kept current and updates will be shared through social media.

If you have a question or would like more information on the court facility improvement project, please visit www.franklincountypa.gov or email facilityprojectinfo@franklincountypa.gov.

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