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Massachusetts seeks property with 2 acres for new Springfield courthouse

Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse in Springfield, Mass.
Elizabeth Román
Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse in Springfield, Mass.

The Healey administration is looking for property in Springfield with at least two "developable acres" to host a brand-new courthouse, officials announced Wednesday.

The state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance rolled out an official request for proposals seeking a viable home for a new justice facility to replace the Roderick Ireland Courthouse, whose dilapidated conditions have been under scrutiny for years.

Officials will accept proposals until Jan. 31, 2024 for the sale or donation of acceptable parcels. The state wants at least two acres that can be developed into a new courthouse and related infrastructure.

DCAMM and the Trial Court system will evaluate proposals based on three criteria: how compatible each site is with the envisioned justice center, the complexity and time associated with acquiring the land, and financial costs and benefits. Once officials pick the ideal site, DCAMM will "conduct further review and due diligence of the selected site before purchasing the property and preparing for construction," the agency wrote in a press release.

The state already reviewed options to relocate the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in a May 2023 report, but officials said Wednesday that those rankings have "no bearing on this RFP process or the ensuing proposal review, and no site has been prioritized or ruled out."

Officials envision the new site hosting the Springfield District Court, Hampden County Superior Court, the Hampden Probate and Family Court, the Western Housing Court, the Hampden Juvenile Court, the Hampden County district attorney's office and the Hampden County Registry of Deeds, DCAMM said.

Healey called for investing $106 million over a five-year period to construct a new justice center in Springfield as part of a $14 billion capital spending plan the administration released in June.

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