are the Goals and Objectives of the Master Plan?
Court Capital Projects
The goal of the statewide Master Plan for Court Facilities is to set a framework for court facility capital improvements. Since the first Courthouse Improvement Act of 1988, there have been numerous capital appropriations targeted to improving the condition of the Commonwealth's courthouses. These appropriations respond to both short and long term planning categories ranging from emergency repairs at community located District courthouses, planning and building regional justice centers to house multiple Trial Court Departments serving several communities and, more broadly, access to justice at all courthouse facilities statewide.
To accomplish these objectives, the master plan:
Establishes and applies objective criteria for ranking facilities
according to relative need based on building conditions, caseload, overcrowding and other factors;
Creates a methodology for setting priorities for planning court
capital improvements, including new construction, renovations
for periodic review of project priorities and allows for adjustments
based on new information, changed circumstances and funding availability;
the design principles that will guide the courthouse capital improvements;
operational and organizational changes that could ease overcrowding
instead of or in addition to capital projects.
is the purpose of the Master Plan?
Master Plan for the Improvement of Court Facilities establishes
a process of collaborative analysis, planning, and review to ensure
fair and objective selection and implementation of capital improvements
to meet the capital needs of the Massachusetts court system.
What is the process for setting priorities for major projects?
In 1997, an independent Architectural/Engineering consultant carried
out a comprehensive survey of court facilities (The Building Conditions
Survey) under the direction of the Division of Capital Asset Management.
The information obtained through the survey and subsequent updating
has been used to identify relative needs for capital improvements
and repairs for courthouses across the Commonwealth, regardless
sizes of caseload and the degree of overcrowding at each facility
criteria were added to account for such factors as regional significance,
historical value, and potential to replace private leases.
All of these criteria were combined to develop a ranked list of
major capital needs, divided into categories of top, high and average
priority. The purpose of this ranking is to guide the selection
of court facilities for major renovation, replacement and repairs
under the 1998 courthouse bond authorization.
What is the process for setting priorities for repair projects?
priorities for repair of facilities were developed utilizing information
from the Building Conditions Survey. A process for analysis and
identification of specific repair projects has begun. The most severe
problems of life safety, security, and accessibility will be addressed
What are the Periodic Reviews?
Under the master plan, the leaders of the Supreme Judicial Court,
the Administrative Office of the Trial Court, and the Division of
Capital Asset Management will meet regularly to monitor progress and
track expenditure for both major and repair projects. As new information
is obtained or conditions change, this group will re-assess priorities. The criteria for setting priorities are established in this master plan, but the relative ranking of facilities may be adjusted as needed to account for changes that occur over time.
What is the recommended schedule?
The recommended schedule of major projects and repairs is represented
in the Division of Capital Asset Management's annual Five-year Capital
Court Capital Projects - Main Page