Cape May County Courthouse Room Dedicated to Former Surrogate

first_imgThe conference room of the newly renovated third floor of the Cape May County Courthouse was officially dedicated to former Surrogate Robert Hentges, who served as county surrogate for 42 years.Hentges was the longest-serving surrogate in New Jersey. During his tenure, he worked at the state and local levels to make changes to better serve New Jersey residents, a county press release said.County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton surprised Hentges when he announced the conference room was being dedicated in his honor during a ceremony Friday.Hentges was in attendance with his wife, Dorothy, daughter, Kim, sons, Randy and Robert, and their grandchildren.He was moved by the lasting tribute to his years as surrogate, the release noted.“It was a great honor to be asked to make this dedication to a man who has served this county and state so well. Bob Hentges has been a personal friend for more than 40 years and has made Cape May County proud,” Thornton said. “He made a great impact on families in Cape May County. There is no other person who deserves this honor more. His dedication and commitment to Cape May County will not be forgotten.”The renovation of the third floor of the courthouse was the culmination of more than three years of planning and construction.According to the release, the space was underutilized for years and the decision to renovate the area for an additional court room, offices and for the surrogate came from meetings with Thornton, Assignment Judge Julio Mendez, Trial Court Administrator Howard Berchtold and Dan Kurkowski, president of the Cape May County Bar Association.County Administrator Elizabeth Bozzelli coordinated the project and former Facilities and Services Director Ann Marie McMahon served as the construction supervisor for the extensive renovation project, which came in on time and under budget, the release stated.The Cape May County Surrogate’s Office will be housed on the third floor to give it needed space. The area being vacated will allow for more space for the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. The county sheriff will have an office on the third floor providing a better presence for him and his officers who are assigned to the courts.The new space will also provide a new court room, meeting a critical need to address the expanding court functions. Criminal Case Management was also moved to the third floor.Judge Mendez thanked Thornton and the Board of Chosen Freeholders for their support and cooperation in providing space for the operation of the courts.“The completion of the third floor provides additional space that will improve the operation of the court system for years to come,” Mendez said.Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton with Robert Hentges.Cape May County Surrogate Dean Marcolongo thanked the freeholders and committee for their vision and support of the project.“The new space brings the many facets of the judiciary together under one roof,” Marcolongo said.Sheriff Robert Nolan expressed his appreciation for expanding the offices. He explained that over the years the office staff has more than doubled due to the expansion of services. Previously, space was limited.The courthouse was built in 1927. It has had the first and second floor renovated with upgrades over the past several years including structural changes in the rear of the building to allow for jury processing.Recent changes in the law, such as bail reform and the handling of drug-related cases, have created a demand to provide more court rooms and offices. Retired Cape May County Surrogate Robert Hentges, center, has a room in the courthouse dedicated in his honor during a surprise ceremony. (Photos courtesy Cape May County)last_img

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