Morris County Greenlights Construction Document Phase for New Courthouse


The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a design proposal for the new courthouse in Morristown, addressing modern safety and space requirements.

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners convened yesterday to review a design proposal for the new courthouse in Morristown. The proposed project will occupy a county-owned parcel on Schuyler Place and aims to provide more extensive facilities to support the county's Superior Court operations.

The design proposal was presented by Roger Lichtman, Lisa Tsang, and Francis Cooke of the Clifton-based infrastructure firm AECOM. The team has been working with a Courthouse Committee consisting of three members from the Board of Commissioners to develop a plan for the roughly 119,000 square foot structure.

The proposed courthouse will house eight new courtrooms, a jury assembly room, meeting spaces, security areas, and a secure, three-story glass entrance foyer. The structure will be eight floors high and located adjacent to the Morris County Administration & Records Building.

According to Commissioner Stephen Shaw, Chairman of the Courthouse Committee, the presented design mirrors the unanimous exterior structure recommendation of the Committee. Although specific exterior colors and materials are still under consideration, the renderings provide a clear representation of the final project. The Board unanimously voted to allow AECOM to proceed to the Construction Document Phase.

Among the meeting attendees were Sheriff James Gannon, Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, and Steven J. Loewenthal, president of the Morris County Bar Association.

The need for a new courthouse arose after a Space Needs and Facilities Assessment in 2018 highlighted a significant deficit in criminal, family, and civil court facilities. Additionally, it pointed out the outdated conditions of the current courthouse complex originally built in 1827. While the historic building will be preserved, it no longer meets the demands of modern court operations.

The decision to build the new courthouse involved careful consideration of the court system's needs balanced against the financial constraints of county taxpayers. The process included input from county government administration, Commissioners, members of the judiciary, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, and the Sheriff's Office.

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