The Malden District Court – where most Everett criminal and civil cases are filed – was abruptly shut down this week due to indoor environmental concerns related to an ongoing construction project.
The court will be moved over a period of three weeks to within the Medford District courthouse until the Malden building construction is completed.
A spokesperson for the Trial Courts said court staff expressed health concerns due to the ongoing construction project in the courthouse. An environmental assessment confirmed that irritants, including dust and use of chemicals, at times were interfering with the court environment.
“The decision to move to the Medford courthouse was made quickly, with the move taking place in three weeks,” said spokesperson Jennifer Donohue. “The project also includes replacement of all windows and the relocation will simplify completion of the remaining work over coming months. Health concerns were raised relative to the ongoing construction project.”
Over three days, Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. conducted the assessment of the building, and recommended they increase ventilation, bring in air filtration units and improve separation between renovation work and court activity.
“The Trial Court decided that this would continue to intrude unacceptably on court business and that temporary relocation was a better option,” said Donohue.
Additionally, the consultant found several small areas of water damage that had produced mold growth – mostly related to old HVAC equipment.
“In addition to immediate cleanup/remediation and attention to better drainage and exhaust systems, the consultant recommended a study be done of replacing or upgrading the HVAC systems,” Donohue said.
All Everett court activities at the District Court level will now be held at Medford District Court until the Malden courthouse re-opens.