Fentress is serving as the court strategic planner on the Leers Weinzapfel Associates (LWA) team. LWA was awarded the project by the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court (TRC). A statewide capital master plan designated Lynn District Court as one of the highest priorities for modernization, with options that include potential consolidation with the Lynn Juvenile Court, which is housed in leased space nearby. The Lynn District Courthouse is significantly undersized for the caseload volume and number of judges and staff that have resulted from considerable growth over time. Critical security and operational concerns have resulted from the shortage of space and an outdated design. Fentress and the LWA team began a renovation study in December 2019 to identify strategic and cost-effective solutions.As the court strategic planner, Fentress is responsible for developing an operational analysis for the District Court and Juvenile Court, respectively, to include demographic, caseload, personnel, and courtroom utilization data and trends. The key findings from the operational analysis provide the foundation for the Program of Requirements (POR) for each court. Fentress also collaborated with LWA and team member BVH Integrated Services to develop the facility condition assessment for the District Courthouse, for which we employed our Courthouse Operations Realtime Evaluation (CORE) tool to quantify existing functional deficiencies.
Images courtesy of Leers Weinzapfel Associates
To date, the District Court operational analysis and draft POR are complete and LWA developed a set of design alternatives based on the POR. As of September 2020, the project is temporarily on hold, pending post-COVID policy directives from TRC that may affect the POR (e.g., public interface, social distancing, courtroom layout, etc.) When the project resumes (expected January 2021), Fentress will modify the POR as needed to incorporate new policies and develop a draft POR for the Juvenile Court. LWA will then develop design alternatives reflecting the potential consolidation. To complete the study phase, the LWA/Fentress design team will work collaboratively with DCAMM and TRC to identify the preferred design alternative.