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Construction on track for new courthouse

  • Construction on the Greenfield Courthouse continues.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • A construction worker drills down concrete pilings at the Greenfield Courthouse on Friday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

GREENFIELD — The new Greenfield courthouse is coming together on schedule, with piledrivers pounding supports deep into the ground to prepare for its foundation.

This month, contractors began driving 134 concrete pilings 30 to 65 feet deep into the ground, according to Meghan Kelly, spokeswoman for the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, which is overseeing the project.

Those pilings will support the foundation for a three-story addition to the building. The exterior of the Main Street end of the 1930s courthouse was left standing, and the inside will be rebuilt to match the addition. The new courthouse will be 104,000 square feet, more than double the 44,000 square feet of the old courthouse.

Eighteen pilings broke as they were driven into uneven rock below the ground, but Kelly said it didn’t cause any significant delays. When a piling breaks, she said, contractors examine the ground underneath and look for a nearby place to put another piling.

Kelly said the pilings should be complete by the end of August.

Once those pilings are in place, crews will begin working on the building’s concrete foundation, said Kelly. She expects that phase of construction to last through mid-November.

The building’s metal skeleton is next, she said.

“Toward December and through the spring, we’ll start to see the steel structure go up,” she said.

Once its finished, the $60 million building will house the district, superior, juvenile and probate courts, as well as the Registry of Deeds and an office for prosecutors. It will also have separate hallways and elevators for defendants in custody, employees, jurors and the public, as well as holding cells and a drive-in “sally port” to securely transport prisoners.

A larger law library and court service center will serve the public, and conference rooms will give lawyers and clients a private place to meet. A small park has also been planned in front of the Main Street facade, so people don’t mistake it for an entrance.

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