The main courtroom at the York County Courthouse, which was almost unused in 2017 because of acoustic problems following a $10 million renovation, is set to be fixed.
Court officials discovered, after the renovation work was done, that judges and court reporters in the room had trouble hearing what was said.
County officials hired a consultant to advise how to address the problem. The second week of January, workers are set to add upholstery to courtroom seats and benches, said Trish Startup, spokesperson for York County. The cost of the additional work is $13,505.54.
After the materials are installed, the courtroom will be checked to see if the changes are sufficient, or if more acoustic work is needed, Startup said.
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York County Manager Bill Shanahan said the goal is to make sure nothing takes away from the character of the courtroom and the historic building.
“Combining 21st-century technology with a building such as this, size and age, is a difficult and complex process,” Shanahan said.
Clerk of Court David Hamilton said it is crucial that court officials, including jurors, be able to hear everything in the room.
Trials could not be held in the courtroom until the acoustics were improved. Civil trials and hearings in 2017 were held at the Moss Justice Center.
The first civil court jury trial week in 2018 is set for late January, and has been tentatively scheduled to be in the main courtroom.
The main courtroom was used for both criminal and civil cases until the 1990s, when the Moss Justice Center was built and criminal court was moved there.
Civil court remained at the York County Courthouse until the county decided to spend about $10 million for a renovation.