The Towson District Courthouse will return to its Chesapeake Avenue home Oct. 13 after a nine-month closure due to a repair project that prompted the temporary relocation of more than 100 employees to the new Catonsville District Courthouse building.
That move will clear the way for Catonsville district court personnel and operations to move Oct. 19 from the court’s Walker Avenue home into the new, 130,000-square-foot building in the Rolling Cross Road Professional Park, a project that has been in the works since 2002.
Towson courthouse employees have been operating out of the new $54.5 million Catonsville facility since January while their building’s aging air conditioning and heating system were fixed.
The $4.6 million maintenance project took longer than the expected six months in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release from the Maryland Judiciary’s Government Relations and Public Affairs office.
Signage will be placed at the courthouses on Walker Avenue, Rolling Cross Road and Chesapeake Avenue regarding the location changes. Starting Oct. 13, anyone with business with the Towson District should go to the courthouse at 120 E. Chesapeake Avenue. Starting Oct. 19, those with business at the Catonsville Courthouse should go to the new facility at 1 Rolling Cross Road.
Built in 1982, the old Catonsville courthouse on Walker Avenue was replaced because it could no longer accommodate the volume brought on by Baltimore County’s growing population — up from 665,000 people in 1980 to 847,000 projected residents in 2020. This building will be transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, General Services spokesman Nick Cavey said.
“I am grateful to all of the hardworking Judiciary staff and judges who worked hard to provide continuity of court services during this challenging time," said District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey in a statement.
“We were fortunate to be able to provide continuous and seamless service throughout Baltimore County as we made much-needed repairs at the Towson District courthouse and transitioned the older Walker Avenue location to a newly built District Court complex just a few miles away within Catonsville,” Morrissey said.
Expected at one point to be completed by 2015, the new Catonsville Courthouse project was delayed over the years because of budget shortfalls.
The Board of Public Works finalized a $2.8 million agreement between Maryland and Catonsville developer Whalen Properties to relocate the courthouse in 2011, according to state officials. The purchase was made with $2.5 million in state funding in 2007 and $350,000 from the state in 2009.
The new Catonsville Courthouse has a 425-car parking garage.
Anyone visiting a courthouse is required to wear a mask or face covering and be screened for coronavirus symptoms, including a questionnaire and contactless temperature check.
Baltimore County’s three District Court locations are in Catonsville, Towson and on Kelso Drive in Essex.
Commissioner services, including applications for a public defender, petitions for domestic violence or peace orders, extreme risk protective orders, and posting bail will only be available at the Essex District Courthouse and the new Catonsville courthouse between 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 and 7 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.
The Towson courthouse will offer commissioner services once it reopens at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 13.