From to “death rays” to giant tarps, since it began rising above Maryland Avenue more than two years ago, the new District Courthouse in Town Center has raised questions.
Rockville Patch recently received two questions about the courthouse from readers. Barb Bauman, who oversees facilities operations and maintenance of the state District Courts as superintendent of the Multi-Service Centers division of the Department of General Services provided the answers.
On Thursday, . Today’s question comes from Rockville Patch reader “Felice,” who asks: “The new district court in Rockville has lights on all night at least into the early morning. It looks like Times Square considering the number and intensity of the lights. Can we afford this unnecessary expenditure?”
It’s not clear just how much “juice” all those lights use or how much they cause the courthouse’s electricity meters to spin. But efforts are made to conserve energy through technology, while providing needed security in the judicial building, Bauman said.
“All the lights are on time clocks,” she said.
In late May, those timers were set to turn the lights on at 8 p.m. and off at 6 a.m.
“They are constantly being adjusted,” Bauman said. “As the days get longer we’re adjusting the time clocks.”
The state is also exploring options for adjusting when exterior lights, some of which are decorative, turn on and off, she said.
Some interior lights are on motion detectors. When activated they could stay on 15 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes, Bauman said.
It all depends on the amount of activity that triggers the lights, she said. That could include housekeeping service workers who are on the job until 11 p.m., 24-hour security in the lobby and a court commissioner’s office that is open around-the-clock to process arrestees.
“I understand they’re very busy,” Bauman said.
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