SECTION 1. (a) That the Executive Office of Administration and Finance through the office of Planning, Design and Construction shall conduct an investigation and study of the feasibility and benefits of a new Hampden County District Courthouse in the City of Springfield. It shall begin such a study by creating a Hampden County Courthouse feasibility commission.
(b) The commission shall investigate and study the following:
(1) The feasibility of constructing a state of the art 21st century courthouse, that has up to date wireless technology, data storage, internet streaming, and real time courtroom audio and visual technology located in the City of Springfield.
(2) Said study shall investigate access to sites in particular, but not limited to: the North End or South End neighborhoods in Springfield.
(3) Said study shall determine the feasibility of constructing a new courthouse on several sites in particular, but not limited to:
(i) The Federal Post Office building;
(ii) the Peter Pan Bus terminal; or
(iii) the current site of the Republican newspaper.
(4) Said study shall evaluate the fiscal impacts on Hampden County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It shall specifically address the construction costs of such a courthouse.
(5) Said study shall also investigate the potential for construction and other full-time jobs, which might benefit the citizens and communities of Hampden County.
(6) Said study shall investigate the feasibility of designing a courthouse with the most advanced and stringent environmental standards in the Commonwealth.
(7) Said study will also examine ways to integrate the courthouse to the community at large, as well as local colleges, universities, and law schools.
(8) Said study shall review the Hampden County Hall of Justice currently in operation, and address the inadequacies of its current design.
(9) Said study shall study the design and construction costs courthouses built in the last ten years here in New England, as well as across the country.
(b) (1) Said commission shall consist of three justices, retired or active, who served in Hampden County, a member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, four representatives of the Hampden County Bar Association, two members of the building trades, a representative from the Hampden County Registrar of Deeds, a representative from the Hampden County Registrar of Probate, a representative from the Hampden County District Attorney’s office, a representative from the Public Defender’s office, a representative from the Massachusetts Court Officer’s Union, and a representative from the Massachusetts Office of Probation.
(2)Said commission will also consist of appointees and necessary designees from the Office of Administration and Finance, whose knowledge and expertise in construction might be of some benefit to said commission.
(3) Said commission will also consist of a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, or a designee from the House, as well as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate, or a designee of the Senate.
(c) Said commission shall report to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means, as well as to the Secretary of Administration and Finance, on the findings and recommendations of the commission, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry the recommendations into effect by filing the same with the clerks of the Senate and House by January 6, 2018.
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