BRATTLEBORO, Vt. –Windham County purchased a vacant facility this week, which it plans to use for law enforcement and court operations, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office on Tuesday.
The property at 185 Old Ferry Road in Brattleboro will temporarily house the Vermont Judiciary while its existing location in Windham County undergoes renovations. This will eventually be the seat of the sheriff’s office.
The Vermont Judiciary currently works out of the Civil Division of the Superior Court of the Newfane County Courthouse in Vermont, which lacks the air handling system needed to conduct safe trials. during the pandemic, the statement said.
The new facility will provide a place for the Vermont judiciary to operate while the county upgrades the air-handling system at the courthouse — a process that is expected to take between 18 and 24 months, according to the release.
“The county will provide this interim space for the judiciary while renovations to our historic courthouse are carefully completed,” Assistant Judge Patricia Duff said in the statement. “This opportunity allows for temporary space to house the Civil Division while ensuring our Sheriff has an office appropriate to the duties he performs.”
The current sheriff’s office is on Route 30 in Newfane, the statement said, but lacks the infrastructure necessary for the building to be accessible to all and operate efficiently.
“We need training space, disabled access, a reliable electrical system and safety equipment all of which come at significant cost,” Sheriff Mark Anderson said in the statement.
The new facility will also allow the sheriff’s office to improve its handling of emergency dispatch and facilitate training that officers would otherwise have to travel for, Anderson said in the statement.
The facility was valued at $810,000 but was purchased for $500,000, the statement said. The sale closed on Monday.
“We look forward to developing new ways to use property on Jail Street,” Anderson said, referring to the existing sheriff’s office. “We will be engaging with community partners to consider next steps as we work towards progress and modernization here in Windham County.”
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