In response to "Court building ruled a priority" (Aug. 14, Page A-1): Yes, we need a new court building, but the location is wrong. A better location would be on Hackett Road, next to the jail. Why? The closer the court is to the jail, it would lessen the movement of inmates, which by definition improves security for everyone. The current courthouse is across the street from the Gallo Center, and when fully operational will have 40 courtrooms. Guess what might happen with an afternoon performance for schoolchildren and an attempted breakout from one of those 40 courtrooms?
To build a new building right next to a working building increases cost, noise and dust and limits access. Limiting access also increases the danger of escaping prisoners who will have to be moved by walking in open spaces where citizens and their cohorts might be.
Building a new court building on open land is cheaper because nothing has to be demolished. Also, you can design things such as a mobile media van park. When we had the Peterson trial, streets were actually closed to through traffic. With a new location, issues like that can be addressed in a new master plan.
RICHARD A. McCULLOUGH