Site for complex still unknown
Media release from Hawaii House of Representatives
HONOLULU, Hawaii: Governor Abercrombie approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Kona Judiciary Complex. The FEIS will now go to Hawai’i Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, who will select the site for the complex.
“We have been holding court in three different locations in Kona. Our law library is in the former morgue, part of the Old Kona Hospital has been converted into a court, and none of the facilities currently in use were designed as courthouses,” said Representative Denny Coffman (North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau). “I am extremely pleased to hear that the Kona Courthouse EIS has been approved by the Governor’s office. Chief Justice Recktenwald can now announce the selected site location and project funding has already been allocated for the building design and planning phase of this project. It feels good that everything is in place to keep this project moving forward.”
The FEIS has seven potential sites for the Judiciary Complex. Following Chief Justice Recktenwald’s site selection, the permit process and design for the complex will commence. Groundbreaking should take place early in 2013.
“It’s been a longtime coming for the Judiciary, the local bar and the residents and it’s simply common sense,” said Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary. “Consolidating the courts and related services in one central facility actually designed to accommodate better public access, valid security concerns and efficiency will be welcomed by lawyers, the judges and staff, and the fast growing community in West Hawaii.”
“The pretrial holding area for district court defendants has no toilets or drinking water, forcing defendants to use public restrooms; this is a completely unacceptable risk to public safety,” continued Rep Coffman, elaborating on the safety concerns that have resulted from using facilities that were not designed for use as a courthouse. “Consolidating courthouse operations in Kona to a single facility, a facility designed to be a courthouse, will save money, streamline operations, and increase public safety.”