Posted Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Court, Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Engineering Officials Detailed Need and Reasons for Potential Action 

The Morris County Board of Freeholders on Jan. 9 received a detailed briefing last night on the need and specific reasons for consideration of a potential expansion and renovations to the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown.

Morris County Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz, Sheriff James M. Gannon, County Law and Public Safety Director Scott DiGiralomo, and County Engineer Christopher Vitz each made presentations on Jan. 9 that detailed specific issues related to legal, public safety, and security shortcomings of the current courthouse.

Graphic shows current and proposed courts and county government complex in Morristown

The gray buildings are current county court and government structures. The red and pink are areas of proposed expansion of the court system.

You can view the video of those presentations at https://morriscountynj.gov/courthouse2019/#presentationAlso, you can access the PowerPoint of the presentation and the county’s Space Needs Assessment Full Report and Executive Summary (Redactions of the report and summary have been for safety and security reasons), and find a public comment form at this link.

The Board of Freeholders is seeking public comment, which  can be submitted electronically for the next two weeks. Please take a few minutes to consider the presentations and give us your thoughts.

Background:

In Morris County, the county government, the state courts, and related nonprofit organizations currently operate from the Morris County Courthouse, the Morris County Administration and Records Building, and the Schuyler Annex Building in downtown Morristown, with additional state‐level court services housed in leased space.

Over time, as the needs of the county and the state have grown, so has the need for more secure and accessible facilities from which to operate. Morris County has attempted to meet these needs on a project-by-project basis, utilizing available facilities and space in the most efficient manner possible.

In late 2016, it became apparent that an analysis of existing available space was needed, coupled with a comprehensive and long‐term examination and evaluation of current and future space needs. In early 2017, Morris County retained a team of consultants led by consulting firm Dewberry to undertake this needs assessment and master planning effort.

The study was scoped with addressing the capital facility needs of Morris County for both county government and state court functions, looking at least 20 years into the future, and developing a capital facility master plan level strategy to meet those needs.

Following months of data gathering, interviews with key officials and stakeholders, in‐depth analyses, and development and evaluation of optional solutions, several key findings emerged that defined the recommended solution.