Routine construction delays and winter snowstorms are pushing the opening of the new District Court building in downtown Rockville to mid-February. At the same time, some people are questioning the intense sunlight reflection off the windows on the south side of the building, nicknaming it a "death ray." Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio's office is on the side of City Hall that faces the courthouse across Vinson Street.
"You can see the big parabola of light shining over to City Hall. It does make it quite warm," she said. "Any day you have a sunny day and you're cold, come on over we will warm you up."
Marcuccio said she is confident the state would address the concern. Barthol L. Thomas, acting assistant secretary for Facilities Planning, Design and Construction at the state Department of General Services. said the state is already working on a solution.
"We learned about it last week and we've turned it over to our design firm," he said. "It created a problem, we are working on it and we hope to have a plan for a solution within the next couple days."
The original expected completion date for the courthouse was early December.
"This is not unusual on a job of this complexity," Thomas said. "We had two blizzards last winter and we couldn't get to the job site. This is normal and not an unforeseen delay."
The $59.9 million project sits on the former site of the Rockville Library at the corner of Jefferson Street and Maryland Avenue. It sits across Jefferson Street from the current District Court building. The new courthouse is 167,072 square feet and six stories tall. It will contain nine courtrooms and four hearing rooms, courtroom holding areas, and offices for judicial administration, court clerks, commissioners, advocate services, public defenders, parole and probation, and the Drunk Driver Monitoring Program, according to state officials. SOURCE: Gazette