The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lowell Justice Center was held yesterday, September 22, 2016, at the site of the building. Under a large white tent that shielded the crowd of more than 200 from the afternoon sun, the ceremony opened with the Trial Court Honor Guard posting the national and state colors and the Lowell High School Show Choir singing the National Anthem.
Massachusetts Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey offered welcoming remarks and Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence served as master of ceremonies. Speakers included Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, State Senator Eileen Donoghue, State Representatives Tom Golden, Dave Nangle, and Rady Mom, and Lowell Mayor Edward Kennedy. After the speaking program, the dignitaries moved to a nearby pile of gravel, grabbed gold-colored shovels (while foregoing the white hardhats), and tossed a few shovelfuls of dirt to mark the occasion.
The Lowell Justice Center (formerly referred to as the Lowell Judicial Center) will be a 267,000 square foot, seven story structure in a prime location in the city's Hamilton Canal District. It will feature 17 courtrooms, office space for court personnel and the District Attorney, the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds, and a Court Service Center. Construction is expected to take 30 months.