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A congested court calendar has inspired Chautauqua County officials to find a second courtroom. But instead of building at a new location or leasing, part of the county attorney's law library on the second floor of the Gerace Office Building will be used.

James Wright, deputy director for Central Services, said Wednesday that that prosecutors in recent years are more inclined to try cases, resulting in a busy court calendar.

"So what we're trying to do, in order to avoid spending a great deal of money on court facilities in the fashion that Erie County needed to do, is convert existing space for a fraction of the cost," he said.

He pointed to a slim likelihood of finding an available building in Mayville. Officials also considered "another location somewhere else in Chautauqua County," Wright said.

The department settled on space -- about the size of the County Legislature chambers -- on the second floor of the Gerace Building.

Wright estimates the cost of conversion work, plumbing, electric and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning at between $75,000 and $100,000.

Construction will get under way soon, he said.

"We probably need to try and get this facility done by Oct. 1, if possible," he said. "It's going to be quite a stretch, but I think we're up to it. I think we can come pretty close to that deadline."

The bidding deadline for the project, which is being designed by Harrington & Sandberg Architects of Jamestown, is Wednesday.

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