Thursday, January 26th, 2017

CONSULTANT HIRED FOR STUDY TO CONSIDER LONG-TERM GROWTH PROJECTIONS

Freeholders Proceed with Comprehensive Space Study for Morris County Govt and CourtsThe Morris County Board of Freeholders has hired a professional services consultant to study the long-term space needs of county government and the state court system in Morris County, with a continued focus on keeping those operations in downtown Morristown, which is the county government seat.

Freeholders Proceed with Comprehensive Space Study for Morris County Govt and Courts

Front of Morris County Courthouse

Dewberry-NJ Designers, working with Louis Berger U.S. Inc., will review those needs based on a 20-year growth projection. The evaluation would take into account the space needed by all of the state court and county government services located in downtown Morristown.

Much of the impetus for pursuing such an evaluation stems from the state judiciary space guidelines.

Importantly, any concepts that are developed must consider the changes needed to meet modern-day safety, security, technology, and accessibility to courts and government while preserving the historic integrity of the Morris County Courthouse complex and respecting the surrounding historic districts in Morristown.

Freeholders Proceed with Comprehensive Space Study for Morris County Govt and Courts

Freeholder Doug Cabana

“We must plan properly for the future of our county and court operations, to ensure that we have modern facilities that meet the needs of the 21st Century, with adequate space for future expansion,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

“This also gives us an opportunity to make Morris County the judicial capital of North Jersey for decades to come, bringing in new jobs and services, and boosting the county’s economy,’’ said Freeholder John Cesaro, the board’s public works liaison.

The study should take about nine months at a cost of $371,000. A committee of key staff members, appointed by the County Administrator and Superior Court Assignment Judge, will lead this effort.

Currently, county government, the state courts, and related nonprofit organizations share space in the County Courthouse, the County Administration and Records Building, the Schuyler Annex, and satellite structures and parking facilities in the adjacent vicinity. Additional state court services are located in the Headquarters Plaza Building about one block away.

Freeholders Proceed with Comprehensive Space Study for Morris County Govt and Courts

Morris County Administration and Records Building

This analysis will provide a series of space utilization recommendations with accompanying cost estimates. It must include three key tenets:

  • Core state courts and county government services must remain in downtown Morristown, the county seat.
  • Uninterrupted continuation of county government and state court operations through implementation of the project is essential.
  • Any recommendations must recognize the conservative spending policies of county government.

It is anticipated that the initiative will kick off in February.