AUGUSTA — The Capital Judicial Center, which opened its doors two years ago, will soon see more construction on its fourth floor.

Potential bidders for the work of renovating the interior to add three more judges’ chambers are expected to gather at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the lobby of the Augusta courthouse for the mandatory pre-bid walk-through.

The description of the work contained in the notice to contractors says the work is estimated at $175,000, and must be completed by Aug. 1. Bids are due by 2 p.m. on May 10.

On opening day in March 2015, the building held seven judicial chambers on the fourth floor.

“To create the new chambers space, we will re-purpose an underutilized judicial conference room on the fourth floor,” said James T. Glessner, state court administrator, via email. “The good news is that the space was actually designed for flexible future use; it has removable walls that are designed to be moved when space needs change.”

Glessner said some of the newer chambers will be shared by judges who are sitting temporarily in Augusta and active retired judges who are not working full-time.


Glessner added that the money for renovation will come from the remaining bond funds approved for the $58 million courthouse project.

“The time for utilizing the bond funds is limited, and we believe this will make the best use of that money,” Glessner said. “It is a great opportunity to make an adjustment that will benefit the building for years to come.”

He said the need arose after the former Maine Judicial Center, located in the Viles Center across the Kennebec River, was returned to the Elsie and William Viles Foundation.

“That center had provided three judicial chambers in Augusta that we had not anticipated losing,” Glessner said. The Capital Judicial Center has two full-time Maine Supreme Judicial Court associate justices — Joseph Jabar and Jeffrey Hjelm — as well as two family law magistrates there frequently, several active retired judges, plus trial court judges.

“All of these judges are helping us meet the public’s needs more quickly in Kennebec County, and helping us address some of the more challenging and complex cases,” Glessner added. “So there is a significant demand for chambers space.”

The Capital Judicial Center is a 120,000-square-foot facility, which contains the combined Augusta District and Kennebec Superior court functions as well as the Office of Information Technology and the Administrative Office of the Courts.


Six courtrooms are contained in the new building and a seventh courtroom, located in the Kennebec County Courthouse and accessed via a glass walkway, is also available. Part of the courthouse work included renovating that historic courtroom and extending the bench so all seven justices of the Supreme Judicial Court can sit there, as well as adding a sprinkler system and safety features to make it more accessible.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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