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Potsdam Town Court returns to renovated building

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POTSDAM — Construction is not quite finished but court is now in session at the renovated Potsdam Town Court on 35 Market St.

“Pretty much the job’s all done,” said Anthony Dagostino of Contract Building Systems, Gouverneur.

Workers put the finishing touches on the building Monday, but court was held in the new courtroom for the first time Thursday.

There is still some work that needs to be done. Court benches will arrive next week. In the meantime, the court is still using the same bright orange chairs it has used for the past 40 years.

Once the benches arrive, the town will sell the 60 chairs, which may net $50 to $100 apiece thanks to their retro styling.

Workers will return near the month’s end to install a custom door ordered for the building that has not yet arrived.

That is the first time the court has had a separate location from the main town offices.

While the renovation at 35 Market St. was under way, the court met in the temporary town offices at 12 Elm St.

The changes to the former town hall were drastic and much-needed, according to court clerk Mary Jo Guyette. The old setup was cramped, with town offices clustered on the bottom floor and the court on the top.

“It looked like an old bank,” she said.

Now the court clerk’s office is located on the first floor, along with extra space in the event the Village Court decides to share the space.

The project finished within schedule, but it hit several roadblocks in the process. Asbestos was found in the building several times during the construction, and oil contamination in the basement required the town to pay more than $56,000 to clean and study the site to determine the spill’s source.

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