Family Court Division in Lycoming County officially opened their remodeled offices on Monday, June 17, 2019, during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the courthouse. Now on the fourth floor of the Lycoming County Courthouse on West Third Street, Williamsport, the new Family Court offices are relocated, updated, and refreshed to better serve families and enhance employee productivity.
The Domestic Relations office, family courtrooms, staff offices, and children’s room relocation was supported through funding earned from state and federal resources. Each month, according to the Family Court Division, the Lycoming County office ranks first among all fifth class counties in Pennsylvania based on its performance, which is directly tied to incentive payments the County receives.
“This is an office we can be proud of,” said The Honorable Dudley Anderson in his opening remarks during the ceremony held Monday. He notably mentioned the personnel, including the Honorable Judge Joy Reynolds-McCoy.
Senior Judge Anderson recognized Judge Reynolds-McCoy as an attorney and a judge who is dedicated to family law. “She has dedicated her whole career to Family Court, she is one of the most preeminent experts in the area of family law. Her opinions are sought after by other courtrooms, and she not only has a statewide reputation, she is revered,” Anderson said. He recognized Judge Reynolds-McCoy’s consistency and the level of family justice which is “unmatched in the state.”
Lycoming County Commissioner Jack McKernan spoke, noting the cost-savings of the project. “This is the first phase of a multi-phase courthouse remodel,” he said. He recognized the in-house maintenance staff who completed the remodel, “saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.” The department’s new lighting, new communication lines, new electric service indicate that “our commissioners have placed a high value on safety, comfort, and efficiency of the office,” said McKernan.
The overall courthouse remodel will expand office space for the County's growing adult probation office and add space for the Juvenile Probation, Public Defender, and Sheriff Offices. Those expansion projects, according to the Lycoming County Courthouse, are scheduled to be completed in early 2020.
Judge Reynolds-McCoy recognized the Domestic Relations and Family Court staff for their dedication and skill, which results in the court's high ranking, she said.
One of the remodeled spaces, the children’s room, was originally established in 2010 by a collaboration with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the courts. The room is fully furnished and stocked with toys, books, and games through donations. The room is maintained by Family Court staff and with the help of probation kids serving their community service.
“Many of these children are upset and stressed about the situation they’re in, which brings them to the courthouse,” said Judge Reynolds-McCoy, “and the waiting area helps to ease their trauma a little bit."
Judge Reynolds-McCoy pointed out artwork on the far wall of the children’s room, which is a chalkboard wall. A junior at Compass Academy, Sirena Skalla, completed the chalk artwork for the playroom. Skalla's message to the kids: “just be happy,” she said. The colors and joyful message brighten the room. “I was excited to do it," she said. "I love art.”