Groundbreaking set for federal courthouse in Harrisburg

The wait is finally over. A new federal courthouse will soon begin to take shape in Midtown Harrisburg.

The U.S. General Services Administration plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the project at Sixth and Reily streets.

Site work has already begun for the $192.8 million courthouse, which has been in the works for more than a decade.

In March, Congress passed a federal budget that included $137.2 million in funding for the new Harrisburg courthouse, the final piece of funding needed to start construction on the 243,000-square-foot complex.

The Midtown facility will replace the current courthouse at Third and Walnut streets in downtown Harrisburg, which will likely be sold. The new courthouse will contain eight courtrooms and 11 chambers. Tenants will be the Pennsylvania 3rd Circuit U.S. Courts, U.S. Courts, U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Trustees.

Construction on the new courthouse will begin around January, according to GSA. The work is expected to take three years with an opening slated for 2022. Pittsburgh-based Mascaro Construction has been selected as construction manager.

For Midtown Harrisburg, the start of courthouse construction is a major milestone. The project has long been cited as a potential catalyst for new building activity in the area around it. Also in the works nearby is the new Pennsylvania State Archives, on Sixth Street.

The genesis of the courthouse project dates back to 2004 when Congress allocated $26 million for site acquisition and design of a new courthouse in Harrisburg.

The Sixth and Reily site was officially chosen in 2010. But federal funding delays and other courthouse needs nationally put Harrisburg on the back burner.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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