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Dedication and Tours of Penobscot Judicial Center 

Catherine Pegram

Many people hope they never have to see in the inside of a courtroom.But today, dozens of folks flocked to the new courthouse in downtown Bangor. The Penobscot Judicial Center got a formal welcome to the community, after opening for business in November. Chief Justice Leigh Saufley says the ribbon cutting and dedication is the culmination of years of planning.”But most important,” she says, “today is the day that everyone gets a chance to see what justice will look like for the next 200 years.”As part of the ceremonies, members of the public were invited to take a tour of the new courthouse, which replaces another building that served justice for more than a century. The $36.4 million project was built under the guidance of Justice Warren Silver and features a new security system, the latest in audio and video equipment and wireless internet service.Saufley says, “This building is built for the future. It incorporates technology and security so people can be safe, but it also incorporates conference rooms, places for people to mediate their disputes.”The courthouse is also energy efficient and work efficient, combining superior and district court proceedings under one roof. Governor John Baldacci says it’s a model of meeting the needs of the courts and the community. “I think Bangor should be very proud of this day,” he says. “This will be a historical landmark day for the city of Bangor and it couldn’t have happened to better people.”The courthouse closed for regular business today to offer public tours from noon until 4 p.m.