June 11, 2014 | 1141 views
New Valley Stream court moving forward
Herald gets an inside look at construction of new facility
A project that has been years in the making is finally coming to fruition, as village crews are working five days a week to convert a stately old building on Rockaway Avenue into the new Valley Stream courthouse.
While the second floor has been occupied for some time by various law enforcement departments, work on the lower level had stalled while plans were drawn and funding was secured. Construction is now in full swing to create a new courtroom, which will be relocated from Village Hall.
Mayor Ed Fare said the hope is to have the new court up and running early next year. The building, at 195 Rockaway Ave., was built in 1926 and served as Village Hall from 1936 to 1954, when the present facility opened. Most recently, it housed a bank and a law office.
“The village has purchased this twice,” Village Justice Robert Bogle said. “You can’t underestimate the historical significance of this building.”
Last year, the Code Enforcement and Public Safety departments moved in to the second floor of the building, along with Auxiliary Police. A room also has been set aside for the Valley Stream Civilian Patrol. In the future, the court offices will occupy the remainder of the top level.
Fare noted that little work was needed to get the second floor ready, because it had been used as offices until the village took over the building in 2011. A lot of furniture was even left behind and is being reused.
Vincent Cusumano, supervisor of Public Safety, said he enjoys the new location for his department, which used to be housed in the Firemen’s Field Clubhouse in the northeast corner of Valley Stream.
“I love the building. It’s a great location,” he said. “It’s the middle point of the village.”
Cusumano said that having Public Safety, Auxiliary Police and Code Enforcement together has improved communication. The three departments have been making good use of the conference room, equipped with a computer and SmartBoard, to review quality of life issues in the village, ranging from code violations to noise complaints to graffiti.