The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. District Court announce the opening of the new courthouse for the U.S. District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands on Monday July 27, 2020. The new courthouse, located in Gualo Rai, Saipan, is the result of a 20-year lease between GSA and the Marianas Management Corporation.
The three-story courthouse houses the U.S. District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Pretrial and Probation Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Protective Service. The courthouse has one courtroom, two judges’ chambers, a jury assembly room and office space for building tenants.
Amidst this current COVID-19 pandemic, a “soft-opening” ceremony will take place with building management and tenants only. While wearing masks and social distancing, the building tenants will gather on Monday, July 27, 10 a.m., to watch the United States and Commonwealth flags raised at the new courthouse for the first time by the Manta Ray Battalion Color Guard from Saipan Southern High School. The national anthem will be performed by Deputy Clerk Aiko Erungel. A grand-opening celebration with dignitaries from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, GSA, the Northern Mariana Island government and the community, previously planned for this month, has been rescheduled to a date yet to be determined in 2021.
The 35,696 square-foot courthouse meets current requirements for the judiciary’s functional and security needs. The design also incorporates innovative lighting and landscaping, energy efficient fixtures and wastewater technologies projected to realize future cost savings and conserve resources. The courtroom with unique skylights and offices with western-facing lagoon views.
Since 1989, the District Court has convened in the Horiguchi Building in Garapan, Saipan. The last court proceeding in the Horiguchi building was held on July 23, 2020.
“This opening represents a great collaboration to overcome many challenges and incorporates space and technology innovations to meet the operational requirements of the U.S. District Court in the Mariana Islands,” said GSA’s Pacific Rim Public Buildings Service Regional Commissioner Dan R. Brown. “We deliver public buildings which are representative of the federal government and, most importantly, serve the mission of our partner agencies.”
“I am happy and excited to finally have our new, beautiful, state-of-the-art courthouse,” Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona, U.S. District Court of the Northern Marianas Islands. “It’s been a long time coming. It was my goal, from day one of becoming chief judge, to get a new home for us that met the minimum standards of a federal courtroom and security protocols for both occupants and visitors. The building that GSA has secured for us satisfies those requirements and exceeds our expectations. Thank you/si Yu’us Ma’ase to everyone that made it possible.”