WMass lawyers weigh options for Springfield's courthouse

The Hampden County Bar Association believes the building is in a "state of disrepair"

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Members of the Hampden County Bar Association toured a Boston courthouse Friday. They're trying to figure out whether the Hampden County Hall of Justice building located in Springfield should be completely renovated or torn down and relocated.

The Bar Association President Jeff Morneau told 22News there are "Safety concerns with the elevators, with stairs, with doors all throughout the building and it's been present for a long time."

The lawyers believe the Springfield courthouse is in a state of disrepair. The building's elevators, restrooms and ventilation system aren't working properly. They toured a Boston courthouse to see what works and what doesn't. The lawyers got a glimpse of the lock-up, a courtroom and the judges' chamber. The lawyers were asked to gather input from judges, lawyers, clerks and even the public to make sure the layout works for everyone who visits the building.

Attorney and former Springfield State Representative Sean Curran said, "Whether or not you want a courthouse right directly across from a casino, I think those are some of the issues the trial court needs to address going forward."

The Hampden County Hall of Justice receives some of the most serious offenders in Massachusetts. The Bar Association said public safety remains their top priority. They're creating a list of recommendations about what should be done with the courthouse. It's too early to put a price tag on any option.

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