Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: August 14, 2001

Seal of the Unified Court System
Groundbreaking for Bronx Criminal Court Complex
BRONX - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani broke ground at a site in the Bronx today to begin construction on the first new criminal court building in that borough in a quarter of a century. To be located on a three-block site on East 161st Street near Grand Concourse Boulevard, the complex will house 47 Supreme Criminal courtrooms and office space for related agencies, including the Department of Corrections and the New York City Police Department. As an added feature, the Bronx High School of Law, Government and Justice - a specialized public school for youngsters interested in careers in public service and the law - will move to a site adjacent to the court complex in order to give students more exposure to the day-to-day workings of the court and better access to representatives of the justice community.

Chief Judge Kaye said, "I am so pleased to be joining the Mayor to inaugurate the start of yet another new court construction project. This new facility - a spacious building that will allow for the maximum efficiency in court operations - will ensure a dignified environment for decades to come. On behalf of the Judiciary, I would like to thank the Mayor for his continued support and cooperation in providing New Yorkers suitable, proper court facilities befitting the administration of justice."

Mayor Giuliani said, "When this complex is completed, it will stand as a testament to our City's dedication to the rule of law and commitment to justice. We are helping to shape the perception of our legal system for anyone who comes into contact with this court. Above all else, it is designed to ensure that court proceedings occur in dignified surroundings - a common theme among every project in the City's Court Master Plan."

Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman added, "The Bronx court complex is part of New York City's master plan for the renovation and construction of courthouses in all five boroughs and is the ninth new courthouse project in recent years. The new building will have 47 courtrooms, providing sorely needed space for this borough's overburdened Supreme Criminal courthouse. I would like to join the Chief Judge in thanking the Mayor for making decent, dignified court facilities one of the priorities of his administration, for which the residents and legal community of the Bronx will soon benefit."

The complex was designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects, and construction is being managed by the State Dormitory Authority on behalf of the City. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2004.