Durham Consolidated Courthouse, DCC will house 33 courtrooms, three motions rooms, two conference/settlement rooms and related justice services when it is completed in 2010.Along with all of the standard features of a normal courtroom six courtrooms will be outfitted for video remand and several will have video conferencing capabilities.
The designs included two video testimony rooms to accommodate the needs of child witnesses. With the move of Superior Court to the Consolidated Courthouse there will even be a dedicated jury room . In response to your increasingly diverse community the designers included three portable translator booths .
“The building’s design will conform to the Canada Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Silver” certification standards, with an emphasis on energy management and conservation.”
With all of the emphasis on a modern efficient and “green” facility, the designers went one step further and designed a building with almost no parking for the public and forced use of public transit. Little thought of the needs of the employees who will have to leave their cars at home and commute by bus from Uxbridge, Pontypool, Scarborough and Blackstock. It may take a few years for Durham Transit to establish schedules and routes to accommodate the times of the Courts, but there are other problems that have to be sorted out.
To distract the people who have to work at the DCC from the automobile parking issue there is a Judge parking issue. Where do the Judges get to park themselves when they get to the building? Some of the Judge’s Chambers have windows and some do not. There is already a row between the members of the judiciary order of preference for who gets which office.
There is always the problem of building a public building on a toxic waste site. The engineers have not yet convinced all of the players that they will be working in a safe environment.
I am looking forward to the opening of the Durham Consolidated Courthouse, it is going to keep the Stewards of Local 302 busy for years to come. Grievances, Health and Safety complaints and staff being disciplined because they couldn’t find parking. 2010 looks like it is going to be a busy year