New Redding Courthouse Site Acquisition Approved

SAN FRANCISCO—The long-awaited new Redding courthouse for the Superior Court of Shasta County moved a significant step closer to reality today when the State Public Works Board (SPWB) approved acquisition of the final parcel of land needed to complete the site. The City of Redding has been instrumental in the acquisitions, working side by side with Shasta County and the state on the land purchases for the new courthouse.

“This projectwill be the culmination of over a decade of work to secure a safe and adequately sized courthouse for our citizens to access court services,” said Presiding Judge Molly Bigelow. “Our community deserves nothing less.The economic boost in terms of the number of jobs that will be created in an area that has suffered with high unemployment for so long is an added bonus.”

Located on approximately two acres at Oregon and Yuba Streets, the site is less than a block from the current courthouse, the Shasta County Jail, the Justice Center, and other justice partners such as the district attorney, the public defender, and other attorneys. The site merges six county-owned parcels and five privately owned parcels. The Administrative Office of the Courts secured the rights to the privately owned parcels in the Market Street Redevelopment Area from the City of Redding Redevelopment Agency, while county-owned parcels involved an equity transfer in partial exchange for the Shasta court’s space in the current courthouse. Escrow is scheduled to close in a month.

With the acquisition of the final parcel, the new courthouse project can move ahead with the first phase of architectural design, pending resolution of the budget for the coming fiscal year. NBBJ is the architecture firm hired to develop the plans and design the new courthouse.

The new courthouse will bring significant improvements in access to justice and overall public service and safety and will improve efficiency by consolidating operations now housed in three unsafe and overcrowded facilities: the Main Courthouse and Annex, the Justice Center, and the Juvenile Courthouse. Built between 1950 and 1965 to serve a dramatically smaller population, the now-substandard structures lack adequate security for current and future court needs.

Judges, staff, and visitors must share hallways and elevators with in-custody defendants, who await their cases seated in the jury box because there are no secure courtroom holding areas. There is also no waiting area for the public, and long lines for court services routinely spill out through the entrance to create even more security issues.

The new 14-courtroom, 173,350-square-foot courthouse will occupy four stories with a basement. The new courthouse is expected to generate hundreds of construction jobs and thousands more community jobs through its indirect benefit to the local economy. When selected, the project’s construction manager at risk will conduct local outreach to ensure that qualified local subcontractors and suppliers have the opportunity to participate in bidding, which is currently scheduled for early 2014. Completion of the new courthouse is scheduled for mid-2016.

The new courthouse project was ranked as an “Immediate Need” in the judicial branch’s capital-outlay plan, making it among the branch’s highest-priority infrastructure projects. It is funded by Senate Bill 1407, enacted in 2008 to provide up to $5 billion for new and renovated courthouses using court fees, penalties, and assessments rather than taxpayer revenues from the state’s General Fund. The state Budget Act for fiscal year 2011–2012 contained significant cuts to the account that funds SB 1407 projects. These cuts delayed certain projects and resulted in project budget reductions, but are not expected to affect the site acquisition approved today.

Until the Legislature resolves the state budget for the coming fiscal year, any future impacts on the funding of the next phase of this project will remain unknown.

More information about the project can be found on the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-shasta.htm.

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The Judicial Council is the policy making body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice. The Administrative Office of the Courts carries out the official actions of the council and promotes leadership and excellence in court administration.

 

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Thankfully this will satisfy the need of the county courts for years to come. All things become outdated just as soon as they're built with incoming population committing more and more crimes. Soon, all that downtown area on the other side of the tracks will be county owned opened to offices.

    Just save the trees to cool the tempers of those county customers who didn't get what they wanted.

  2. Avatar Jenni Middleton says:

    Save the trees!

  3. Avatar Insanity Prevails says:

    But wait, there's more! The new jail funds being dangled like a carrot on a stick by the state will be too tempting to refuse so the operations costs coupled to the new court house construction costs will be Shasta County's "rail to nowhere." It's nice to have new stuff, but do we really need it? There is always a price to pay for something that's

    "free." So what is the budget deficit in Shasta County after the State cuts? What does the State gain by having extra jail space in Shasta County? Where do the incarserated get released to? I think I can see a con-flict of interest for Shasta County residents, anyone else?

  4. Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

    WHAT DONI SAID, AMEN!!!

  5. Avatar david kerr says:

    Before getting excited about a new courthouse, read this week's report from the State Controller's office. The most important section is fiscal year to date revenue compared with the prior year. California revenue is down, a lot more than the expiration of the temporary sales tax.
    http://sco.ca.gov/Files-EO/05-12summary.pdf

  6. Avatar david kerr says:

    Annual returns for the S&P 500

    2002 ?22.10%

    2003 28.69%

    2004 10.88%

    2005 4.91%

    2006 15.79%

    2007 5.49%

    2008 ?37.00%

    2009 26.46%

    2010 15.06%

    2011 2.05%

    The poor tax collections on April 15 reflect the poor stock market in 2011. For California to pay for a new courthouse, stocks will have to perform very well or there would have to be another housing bubble or credit bubble, none of which are likely.

    The budget deficit is $19.2 billion, up from $8.2 billion at the start of the fiscal year. Hard to justify a courthouse if the deficit keeps climbing at this rate. http://sco.ca.gov/eo_pressrel_12067.html

    Gov. Brown has been meeting with bond rating agencies. Unless the state can get its finances in order, it will have another decrease in bond rating. The budget revise will be out Monday.

  7. Avatar Larry says:

    The citizens will never know how much we fell behind the front of the list because of the desire of the owner to milk the golden cow. We might actually lose out anyway because we had to wait so long to get acquisition. It set us back on the line, several counties jumped ahead of us.

  8. Avatar beve mills says:

    While the police wade through raw sewage for the 4th time in how many months?

    We can't fingerprint people there because there is no place to wash their hands?

    Has anyone toured the police department, we (the citizens) should be ashamed of the facilities we are providing to our police!

    This shold be this city's top priority.

  9. Avatar Magnolia Neighborhoo says:

    Come on, Court House Design Team, incorporate the beautiful trees into your Final Plan. And don't forget to include those orange trees to the north. You have the technology to avoid starting the site prep from a sort of "scorched earth" point. Think about how many years were required to grow those trees, and the benefits of their shade and beauty!!! And, beauty does have an effect on human behavior.