Tioga County recently purchased a 1.25 acre lot in the I-99 Business Park from the Betterment Organization of Mansfield to be used for a new district court office. Work on the building is scheduled to begin this spring.

The lot, located beside the Tioga County Housing Authority building, is “shovel ready” and will be the new home for Mansfield District Judge Tiffany Cummings and staff, said Tioga County Commissioner Mark Hamilton.

Hamilton said a more secure building with more parking has long been needed for the courtroom, currently located on South Main Street next to Elite Therapy.

“The state is requiring stricter security in county buildings, and the present location is not going to avail itself to the new security procedures we need to have in place,” Hamilton said.

“The level of security needed these days in DJ offices includes a secure area for staff, access to control, a detainee restroom, and providing a level of security is key to this project,” Marc Rice, Tioga County risk assessment manager said.

“The current building just doesn’t have the room or the layout and capacity to do the things we need to do,” Hamilton added.

The project is set to begin June 1 and should be completed by the end of this year.

“We’re in process of design and then we will let bids and we’re planning to be done Dec. 31,” Rice said.

“We plan on replicating the district judge building that we built in Elkland, and that will be a savings to the county because we won’t have the extra architectural expenses,” Hamilton said.

The county will sell the other building once the staff moves into the new building, he added.

The total cost of the project, to be paid for with Act 13 impact fee moneys, is $1.5 million, Hamilton said.

“The lot was $88,000, and includes sewer and water hookups, electricity, gas and broadband access as well,” Rice added.

There will be 20 parking spaces, 10 in the front and 10 in the back. Surveillance cameras will be in place overseeing the lots.

Being off the main street in town in a more secure location also makes the location more desirable, Hamilton said.

“The parking downtown was a huge problem on court days. It will be a much better situation in the business park and off the main road,” he added.

The I-99 Business Park is within walking distance of Perkins Restaurant and close to the Sheetz store on Route 6 and downtown Mansfield, Rice added.