York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery, left, and York County Commissioners Allen Sicard and Richard Dutremble were among county officials touring the new space for the District Attorney’s Office at 208 Graham St. in Biddeford. There will be extensive renovations to the property before the office moves to the new location. That is expected to happen around the time the York Judicial Center, under construction on Elm Street, opens; an April date is projected. Tammy Wells Photo

BIDDEFORD — York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery walked through every room of the vacant building at 208 Graham St. on a recent day. It was her third visit to the property.

Over the next several months, the space will be transformed into the county District Attorney’s Office. That is because the four state courts in York County are consolidating to York Judicial Center, which is being built about a mile or so from the 208 Graham St. location. York Judicial Center is poised for an April opening.

“It’s so much space; we’ve never had space,” said Slattery of the Graham Street location.

Currently, there are district attorney offices in York, Springvale, and Biddeford, which is also the location of Maine’s three district courts, and in Alfred, where the Maine Superior Court sits at the county-owned court house. But despite the four current locations, none offers an abundance of space for assistant district attorneys and support staff. Altogether the four current offices employ 44 people.

On a recent weekday morning, Slattery, a couple of her staff members, York County Commissioners Allen Sicard and Richard Dutremble, County Manager Greg Zinser and York County Facilities Manager Rick DeRochmont toured the 208 Graham St. property with Biddeford Housing Authority Director Guy Gagnon. BHA acquired the property May 2. It had begun its life as a telephone office in 1965 and was later the home of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. One portion of the building is set to become the temporary quarters for My Place Teen Center, until construction of the permanent center at the former St. Andre Church is complete. Much — and perhaps all — of the rest is poised to be offices for the those who make up the York County District Attorney’s office.

Some work has been completed: walls are freshly painted and there is new carpeting in some rooms, among other improvements. But more needs to be done — including marking out the office spaces.


Several York County government officials toured the property owned by Biddeford Housing Authority at 208 Graham St. with BHA director Guy Gagnon, left, on a recent day. The county has agreed to lease space in the building for a new York County District Attorney’s Office. The d.a.’s offices in York, Springvale, the current Biddeford location and in Alfred will close. Tammy Wells Photo

York County Commissioners signed a memorandum of agreement to reserve space at the property — about 13,000 square feet — at a monthly rate of $4,300, in June.

Finding a location for the York County District Attorney’s Office near the York Judicial Center has been on the minds of county officials from early on. The state’s design of the new court building did not include room for the entire district attorney’s staff, though it reportedly does contain about 500 square feet for the district attorney. The alternative to a location in or near Biddeford to accommodate the full staff was the district attorney’s current main office in Alfred, the county seat, 12 miles away — which county officials noted could present logistical difficulties, even though space could open up there, once the state court vacates the offices it uses in the building.

In 2016, the Maine Legislature passed a bill sponsored by former Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, that budgeted $65 million for a new court house in York County. Later that year, a court site selection commission chose the 511-515 Elm St. site as the location for the York Judicial Center from an original slate of 27 possibilities.

Heather Feamster of the Administrative Office of the Courts provided an update on the judicial center project from information she received from Dennis Corliss, the department’s chief of Finance and Administration, and Director of Court Facilities Jeremy Gray.

“Despite the challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and labor and supply shortages, the subcontractors and vendors on the projects have been performing admirably to maintain schedule,” said Feamster. “We are currently about two-thirds of the way through the construction with the interior progressing from the upper floors downward.”

The projected opening is in April. Feamster said details on the closure dates of the three district courts and the superior court is being determined.


Zinser said whether the York County District Attorney’s prosecutors and staff will move to the new digs all at once or over time is yet to be determined — there’s a long way to go and renovations to plan and execute before that happens. The goal is to have the new space operating at capacity once the new court opens, he said.

On her third visit to the new space, Slattery called it “excellent.”

In a previous conversation, she said the alternative of continuing to work out of the Alfred courthouse once the York Judicial Center is open would have been a disservice to the public.

“It’s what we need,” said Zinser of the closer accommodations.

Sicard said the county searched for space from downtown Biddeford to Arundel, looking for property it could lease.

The Graham Street property was chosen because of the size of the space, the large parking lot and proximity to the York Judicial Center, he said.

“The key is location, location, location,” Sicard said.

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