County Campus Redevelopment Plan
The Montgomery County Campus Redevelopment plan comprises six individual construction projects in downtown Norristown. These projects will address worsening safety risks in aging court and office buildings, energy and service inefficiency, and increasingly inadequate office and parking space, while readying County buildings to serve future residents and helping to catalyze development in Norristown.
The included individual projects are:
- OMP Security upgrade
- OMP ReSkin
- Justice Center - New Courthouse construction
- Justice Center - Renovation of Existing Courthouse
- Justice Center - Expansion and revision of Hancock Square Park
- Internal Renovation of OMP
Successful execution of the County Campus plan will:
- Plan for the next 100 years, and build facilities to support that plan
- Revise the campus to serve as a public destination for the County
- Reflect, through design and construction, the greatness and diversity of the County
- Help catalyze other development in Norristown
- Provide modern, accessible facilities for the people of Montgomery County
- Promote responsible development and design practices
- Balance security and accessibility
Why is the County Campus Redevelopment Plan needed?
County court and office buildings are plagued by age, unsuitable design, and compromised integrity, resulting in inefficient systems and safety issues.
- Years of water and air infiltration through One Montgomery Plaza envelope cause a threat to public safety as failing infrastructural systems can result in exterior bricks falling off the building
- Sidewalk scaffolding and building fabric were put up as protective measure
- Water and air continually infiltrated through deficient roofing and façade
- Courthouse parking garage has experienced structural failure in certain locations, rendering portions of the garage unusable
- Constant water infiltration through Court building envelope necessitates ongoing major repair efforts and relocation of staff into inadequate space
Court and County administration operations are inefficiently distributed across campus and satellite facilities, and additions to historical Courthouse have complicated circulation.
- Court-related operations are in different facilities, housed both in Court buildings, OMP, and leased buildings
- Within the Courthouse building complex (including the historic courthouse, courthouse annex, and base floor addition), no secure circulation route for judges or detainees is available
- Available courtroom and hearing room space is inflexible, and many rooms are incorrectly configured per modern justice facility design principles
- Space limitations dictate that the County incurs lease costs for departmental locations that could otherwise be centrally consolidated in owned space
- Coordinated security measures (such as access control) that would assure staff and visitor safety are neither present nor possible based on current configuration
Hancock Square park is an inhospitable and underutilized public space.
- Hampered by current configuration and the fortress-like presence of the Main Street Courthouse entrance, the corner bound by Swede and Main streets is perceived to have hampered retail and residential development in Norristown
- Increasing usable and accessible space in Hancock Square increases community participation and integration. Careful design and programming can reinstate Hancock Square as a key public amenity at the center of Norristown.
- Justice Center design seeks to set a positive precedent for future development and regeneration by defining an active street edge