CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Franklin County recently announced that renovations on their Courthouse Annex are about to commence, which is the final stage in the county’s multi-faceted, multi-million dollar court facilities improvement project.

The court facilities improvement project first broke ground back in Oct. 2019, and consisted of the construction/renovation of four major court facilities in Franklin County:

  1. Administration Building
  2. Historic Courthouse & Courthouse Annex
  3. Archives Facility
  4. Judicial Center

According to Franklin County’s communications coordinator Sheena Baker, construction on the 43,000 square foot Administration Building was completed back in Feb. 2021. This building was constructed by Lobar Inc., who also was the general contractor for the construction/renovation of the Courthouse Annex & Historic Courthouse, and the Judicial Center.

According to Franklin County’s website, the Administration Building is going to be housing multiple different services and departments, such as: Accounts Payable, Commissioner Controller, Criminal Justice Advisory Board & Grants Management, Human Resources & Risk, Information Technology, Planning & Tax Services, Property Management, Register & Recorder, Treasurer, and Voter Registration.

The next step in this multi-faceted project was the completion of the Judicial Center, back in Nov. 2021. This 108,113 gross square foot building is going to be utilized to house: courtrooms, Judges’ chambers and supporting staff, detainer holding cells, secure sally port, Sheriff’s Office, Clerk of Courts, and Prothonotary.

According to Baker, the next step in this improvement project was the renovation of the Historic Courthouse, which was completed in Oct. 2022. It should be noted that the county only had ‘minor renovations’ done on the Historic Courthouse.

Unlike the other constructions and renovations, the 14,623 gross square foot Archives Facility was completed in two phases. According to Franklin County’s website, Phase 1 focused on the construction of the Archives storage, where as Phase 2 was focused on constructing the office spaces. The general contractor for Phase 1 was JC Orr & Son, and Phase 2 of the project was led by eciConstruction. The Archives Facility was recently completed back in Feb. 2022.

Over four years into the court facilities improvement project, there is just one more renovation yet to take place – the 45,000 square foot Courthouse Annex. Recently, Franklin County announced on Feb. 7, 2023, that they were temporarily relocating the Franklin County District Attorney’s office to the county’s Administration Annex, at 218 N. Second St., in anticipation of renovations beginning sometime in March.

According to Baker, as the construction/renovation of the Courthouse Annex progressed the county slowly moved and relocated individuals from the building to a new location. These relocations started as far back as Feb. 2021 – the District Attorney’s office was the last of many relocations to occur.

According to Franklin County’s website, the cost of the entire multi-faceted project is about $67.8 million. To pay for the project, Franklin County was issued a bond of $55 million, which will pay for the project cost over the course of the next 20 years.

Additionally, the Franklin County Commissioners approved a 1.5 millage debt service increase back in 2018, which equivalates to about $29 per year for the average homeowner in Franklin County.

Franklin County anticipates the final Courthouse Annex project to be completed in May 2024.

abc27 news will keep you updated as more information becomes available