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Spokeswoman: building won't look like early drawings

State closes deal on new courthouse land

By Ethan Andrews | Jan 16, 2017
Source: City of Belfast, annotated by The Republican Journal A map of downtown Belfast showing locations of current District and Superior courthouses, and land that state recently purchased for a new combined courthouse building.

Belfast — The state has completed the purchase of land for a new $17 million Waldo County District and Superior Courthouse.

The site, on Church Street between Market and Anderson streets, includes two properties: a parcel that spans the block and has been home to Duval Auto Service and Tidewater Oil, and a residential lot on Market Street with a single family home.

The combined 1.1 acres will serve as the site for a new building that will combine superior and district courts under one roof. Today the courts are in separate buildings south of the new courthouse site.

Early sketches of the new courthouse released late last year drew strong reactions from readers, many of whom thought the modern look didn't fit with the neighborhood.

However, judicial branch spokeswoman Mary Ann Lynch said those drawings were very preliminary and the actual design process is only just beginning.

"Those sketches were done for the purpose of identifying a ballpark number for the purposes of asking the Legislature for money," she said. "You can't do a plan until you know where on the face of the Earth you're going to site the [building]."

Lynch said it will probably be four to six months before the judicial branch has plans to share with the public. At that time, there will be meetings with stakeholders.

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