Condensation and possible mold issues in the new federal courthouse on Niagara Square have delayed the building’s opening, but that has not stopped the installation of the building’s finishing touches. The glass on the entry pavilion, etched with the U.S. Constitution, is now in place. Artwork by artist Robert Mangold, consisting of large-scale translucent colored glass panels, will be placed inside the pavilion.
Elsewhere in the building, condensation issues on the glass curtain wall facing Niagara Square has pushed back the building’s completion date.
The report of possible mold growth is the most recent in a long string of delays to the federal courthouse construction since its start in October of 2007. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the GSA to promptly address and eliminate the causes of the condensation, in addition to assessing the construction progress overall, so that the planned building opening and budget remain on track. Schumer indicated that all contractors, from the builders to the architect, must be held accountable for any possible mistakes, and that they must promptly rectify any issues.
“GSA must immediately address and fix any and all issues at the Buffalo Federal Courthouse to keep this project on track and on budget,” Schumer said. “I have worked long and hard with my delegation partners to bring this anchor project to Downtown Buffalo and GSA must make sure that we get across the finish line while protecting taxpayers. From the architect to the builders, who must be accountable, the GSA must make sure that any mistakes are identified and rectified ASAP.”
Government government officials originally planned to open the courthouse in July 2010. Since then, the planned opening date has been delayed three times, mainly due to concerns about the glass panels that will encase the building. As a result of the recent condensation problems, authorities have said they do not know if the building will come in under budget.
The 10-story courthouse will provide the District Court with five courtrooms and chambers, the Magistrate with four courtrooms and chambers, the Court of Appeals with a judge’s chamber and a library. It will also provide preparatory space for the U.S. Attorney and Federal Public Defender as well as indoor parking for 54 vehicles.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is project architect and Pittsburg’s Mascaro Construction Company Pittsburgh is general contractor.