The York Judicial Center in Biddeford is nearing completion and will soon be the location of all state courts in York County. Officials say the building may open in early May but a final date has not been decided. Tammy Wells Photo

BIDDEFORD — Those appearing before a judge charged with misdemeanor offenses or felony crimes — or people seeking recourse through the civil court process in York County — will soon be doing so in a new setting.

The York Judicial Center, under construction  on Elm Street (Route 1) in Biddeford since the foundation was poured in December 2020, is nearing completion and is poised to open later this spring.

Maine Judicial Branch Communications Specialist Alyson Cummings said officials are eyeing opening the new facility during the first week in May, but that a final decision has not been made yet.

York Judicial Center consolidates all four courts currently operating in York County, including district courts in Biddeford, Springvale and York and the superior court that sits at York County Court House in Alfred. The three district court buildings will close; the county-owned court building in Alfred will remain open for county probate court proceedings, the registries of deeds and probate, and other county-related functions.

The foundation for York Judicial Center was poured in December 2020. Maine Judicial Branch officials say they’re eyeing early May as a potential opening date. Tammy Wells photo

“We think the York Judicial Center will be a justifiable source of pride for the people of York County and southern Maine,” said Maine Judicial Branch Director of Legal Affairs and Public Relations Barbara Cardone. “The new York Judicial Center will greatly enhance access to justice for York County residents in a modern, safe, fully accessible and eco-friendly facility.”

Cardone said the building has “thoughtful and forward-looking features” as proposed by the building and site selection committees.


“The building uses geothermal energy systems to reduce heating and cooling costs, rooftop solar panels and solar shades, high efficiency lighting and natural lighting in all courtrooms and common areas,” she said in an email.

The current schedule would see the superior court offices at York County Court House in Alfred close April 14 and move to the building the following week. Biddeford District Court is poised to close April 21 and move the following week, with Springvale and York district courts poised to close April 28 and move the next week, said Cummings.

Any limited proceedings that may be scheduled during the move-in process will be conducted  remotely, online, Cummings said. “The clerk’s office will provide a Zoom link for any proceeding that is public to the media or others,” she said. “No trials will be scheduled at the new building until the move has been completed.”

The new three-story building is about 18,000 square feet and has multiple courtrooms.

Cardone said the new facility will be more efficient in staffing, operational costs, and energy use than the four older courthouses in York County and noted York Judicial Center will be near the Maine Turnpike.

The new court building has been a long time coming. In 2016, the Maine Legislature passed a bill sponsored by former Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, that budgeted $65 million for a new courthouse in York County. In November that year, an 18-person site selection commission made up of members of the judiciary, legislators, law enforcement, attorneys and others chose the Elm Street location from an original slate of 28 possibilities.

The land was previously owned by the city of Biddeford, and Biddeford City Council voted unanimously to sell the parcels located at 511-515 Elm St., and an additional adjacent parcel at 384 Hill St., to the Maine Governmental Facility Authority for $810,000 in January 2017.

Consigli, which has offices in seven states including Maine, is the contractor for the new building, which was designed by the Finegold Alexander architectural firm. Consigli has prior courthouse construction experience in Maine, including building the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta and the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

The office of the York County District Attorney, which is currently headquartered in Alfred, with offices in Springvale, Biddeford and York, is poised to move to new space at 208 Graham St. in Biddeford and is looking to make the change in mid-April, said County Manager Greg Zinser. The county government inked an agreement with Biddeford Housing Authority for the space in June. It is about a mile from the York Judicial Center.

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