State Eyes New Temporary Court Site

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By Susan Morse

Hampton Union, Friday, July 22, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

SEABROOK -- The state is looking at a new site in Seabrook to temporarily house the Hampton District Court.

The Bureau of Court Facilities is eyeing space on Ledge Road, on the west side of Route 1, said Laura Kiernan, communications director for Chief Justice John Broderick.

Court officials had previously designated empty retail space on Route 1 behind Ace Hardware in Seabrook as a temporary location.

Kiernan said renovating that space was deemed too costly.

The Ledge Road facility is the only temporary location being considered, she said.

"This is the site under consideration now," she said.

A lease has yet to be signed, said Kiernan, and there is no scheduled move-in date. The chief justice wants to move employees out of the current Hampton District Court as soon as possible, she said.

The Hampton courthouse, in a 100-year old building on Winnacunnet Road, has been infested by fleas and mold and does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act for wheelchair accessibility.

The state will move the court operations until a new district court or a combined Hampton and Exeter District Court is built.

The two-story facility on Ledge Road is fairly new, said Kiernan, and needs less renovation.

Last week, she said, Peter Goodwin of the Bureau of Court Facilities, Hampton District Court Clerk John Clark and others looked at the site, which is 4½ miles from the current courthouse in Hampton.

"It wouldn't require a huge expenditure of cash," she said. "It's in good condition and completely ADA compliant."

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