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Hope Street to lose parking, sidewalk to courthouse construction

Nick Cody of Westfield erects temporary fencing around the Franklin County Courthouse as preparations for the renovation and addition proceed at the corner of Hope and Main Streets in Greenfield.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Nick Cody of Westfield erects temporary fencing around the Franklin County Courthouse as preparations for the renovation and addition proceed at the corner of Hope and Main Streets in Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — Hope Street will lose parking spaces and one of its sidewalks when construction of the $60 million courthouse renovation begins in about six months.

Preparation for the 30-month renovation and expansion of the courthouse on Hope and Main streets has begun, but the first six months will be the demolition, which includes removal of asbestos, lead and the rear portion of the building.

According to Sara Campbell, the town’s engineering superintendent, Greenfield officials have been talking with the state and its designers for about a year and all have decided that when construction begins, on-street parking near the courthouse will be prohibited on both sides of Hope Street.

She said there will continue to be on-street parking during the demolition phase, which will most likely last into the summer.

“We have developed a solution on Hope Street that maintains traffic flow and safety,” said Campbell. “By removing on-street parking, we can maintain a two-way flow of traffic safely during the construction phase.”

That means those who typically park at metered spots on the east or west side of Hope Street will have to find somewhere else to park, including the municipal lot across the street from Hope and Olive restaurant.

“The town will be compensated for the loss of parking revenue at a negotiated rate,” said Campbell. “We have also discussed the need to maintain adequate parking spaces for the public in the Hope Street lot.”

Campbell said construction workers will not park in the municipal lot or along Prospect Street.

“At the peak of construction, the state anticipates there will be 100 workers or more,” said Campbell. “They will not be parking in the Hope Street lot and the town is going to establish ‘resident only’ zones on Prospect Street to make sure overflow parking does not adversely affect the neighborhood.”

According to the state, construction will begin as soon as demolition is complete.

The sidewalks that run along the side and front of the courthouse will become part of the construction site, but the sidewalk on the west side of Hope Street, which runs along the side of the church and in front of The Recorder, will remain open and intact.

The courthouse has moved temporarily — for the next three to five years — from the 70-year-old building on Main and Hope streets to the Greenfield Corporate Center on Munson Street. The state is leasing the 50,000-square-foot space in the Corporate Center for $1.7 million a year.

The plan is to renovate the front section of the courthouse and build a new 104,000-square-foot addition to the rear that will include the juvenile court, which is now housed on Main Street.

The project, being built by Whiting Turners Construction Co., is planned to be substantially completed by fall 2016.

A new access to the YMCA’s rear parking lot was moved to Prospect Street because its former access through the courthouse parking lot will be cut off.

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