Friday, February 18, 2011

Update on Judicial Center

Last night at a forum sponsored by the local non-partisan political action committee Move Lowell Forward, Lowell's Assistant City Manager for Planning and Development Adam Baacke spoke for 90 minutes about various development projects underway within the city. One project relevant to the registry of deeds is the new judicial center which is to be built in the city's Hamilton Canal District.

Already underway is site remediation. Formerly the home of a gas station, a substantial amount of petroleum contaminants the were in the ground had to be removed. Most of this has been done. The second phase which will begin shortly is the relocation of a number of utilities such as water and sewer pipes that pass through the site.

More distant is construction of the building. The plan is to begin work in 2013 with the building opening in 2015. There is some ambiguity about this schedule, however, because the state's division of Administration and Finance has not yet released full bonding authority to the Division of Capital Asset Management, the agency that owns (and constructs) all state buildings. DCAM cannot begin design of the building until the money for the project is all in place so this is a potential trouble spot. Adam emphasized that the city's legislative delegation is on top of this issue and it's one of their top priorities.

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