As released by the Office of Congressman Lou Barletta
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today won approval for funding for the design and construction of a new federal courthouse in Harrisburg, securing a total of $194,444,000 in a resolution passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which Barletta is a member. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta has pushed for the project, including holding hearings in his subcommittee to discuss the proposal. The Harrisburg structure is part of the long-awaited federal courthouse construction plan, developed by the federal judiciary and the General Services Administration. The committee approved the resolution authorizing the appropriations by a voice vote, which does not require further action by the full House of Representatives. The committee action is the final step before an actual appropriations bill sends the money out the door.
“Today marks the culmination of a lot of hard work by this committee, the judiciary, and the people of Harrisburg,” Barletta said. “This has been a long time coming, with various baby steps along the way, but now the Harrisburg courthouse will finally become a reality.”
The appropriation includes the design and construction of a courthouse of approximately 243,000 square feet and an estimated 43 parking spaces. The building will contain as many as eight courtrooms, including three for District Judges, two for Senior District Judges, two for Magistrate Judges, and one for Bankruptcy Judges. The amount includes funds already appropriated, including $29.5 million in partial funding for feasibility studies and preparation work approved in April. There had been initial discussions of constructing only an annex to the existing courthouse, but this development clears the way for an entirely new building.
“A new courthouse represents an economic boost for the city of Harrisburg,” Barletta said. “There will be jobs created directly related to the construction of the building, as well as economic development that will continue to grow around the activity centered at the courthouse. This will benefit a lot of people.”
Barletta expressly thanked Judge D. Brooks Smith, of Altoona, of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Smith serves as the chairman of the judiciary’s Committee on Space and Facilities.
“Judge Smith looked at all of the projects on the judiciary’s wish list and made a judgment about which ones merited such large investments,” Barletta said. “It is gratifying that he believed in the Harrisburg project and placed it in priority.”