Two new Westmoreland district judge offices to open in early 2019
Westmoreland County will continue its program to modernize district judge offices next year with two new facilities slated to open in early 2019.
Construction of a new facility in Washington Township is expected to be finished in late January and a new building to house Magisterial District Judge Mark Mansour in Hempfield is set to open in February, according to Deputy Court Administrator Don Heagy.
“Once these are finished, there will only be six (district judge) offices left that are not owned by the county,” Heagy said.
For the last decade, the county has set out to move its 17 district judges to newly built offices owned by the county.
Work is being finished now on the $1.25 million building that will house District Judge Jason Buczak’s office in Washington Township. His current office is in a privately leased building along Route 66 that will be closed at noon Jan. 25, Heagy said.
Buczak’s new court office is located about a half mile away on Beaver Run Road. It will open at noon Jan. 30.
Mansour’s court office on South Greengate Road in Hempfield is moving just a few blocks away on property owned by the Westmoreland County Housing Authority. The authority is completing work on a new facility for the judge that will be leased to the county.
The authority also owns the property where Mansour’s office is currently located. The authority is replacing the older facility as part of a project to build a new low-income senior housing facility at that site.
Heagy said Mansour’s office is scheduled to relocate at noon Feb. 15 and reopen at the new facility Feb. 20.
The county previously rented space for all of its district judge offices but security concerns and space issues led officials to begin building newer facilities.
County officials are expected early next year to purchase the court building that currently houses the offices of District Judge Mark Bilik in Derry, Heagy said.
Once that is completed, judge offices in New Kensington, Penn Township, Unity, North Huntingdon, Ligonier and Mt. Pleasant will be last of the privately owned court facilities.
“We’ve looked at the privately leased buildings and looked at what it will take to get up to our security and operational needs. We will sit down after the start of the year and prioritize where are next new buildings will be,” Heagy said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]