Council Clears Way for Court to Temporarily Move to City Hall

Haverhill District Court

Haverhill District Court will close this fall for $8 million in renovations.

Haverhill City Councilors unanimously approved plans to house Haverhill District Court’s civil business on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall during an upcoming one year, $8 million court house renovation project.

The council’s authorization to Mayor James J. Fiorentini to execute a license with Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), on behalf of Massachusetts Trial Court, came following debate over parking between court and city hall business. Chief of Staff David S. Van Dam told councilors results of a parking plan requested by the mayor were expected later this week. He suggested court employees would park offsite and additional parking could be available along the Newcomb Street side of the city hall parking lot, or by coordinating space at neighboring businesses.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua said he is worried there is not enough parking spaces behind city hall. However, Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said he believes most court business occurs mornings and would not take up as many spaces as the police department when its former station occupied the basement at city hall.

Under the agreement with the court, Van Dam said, the city would receive upgraded cabling in council chambers the court would use to record its proceedings with their own equipment. Also, among other things, DCAMM would replace carpeting inside the chambers.