What: Demolition work to prepare the site for a new Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks. Once completed, the new facility will increase efficiency and security and consolidate all criminal and traffic court operations in one modern, secure building for the county’s south district.

Who: The Judicial Council is overseeing the new courthouse project. The council contracted with Rudolph & Sletten to complete the demolition work on the building site.

When: Perimeter fencing and other preparations for demolition are set to begin Monday, Sept. 24. The actual demolition of the existing buildings is scheduled to start mid-October and last for approximately four weeks.

Where: The demolition work will take place at 1025 Santa Barbara Street, the site for the new courthouse. The site is located on Santa Barbara Street at the intersection with Figueroa Street, and is next to the current Figueroa courthouse and across the street from the historic courthouse.

Why: Even though the Legislature has not authorized funding to begin building the new facility, it did authorize funding for demolition of the existing buildings on the site. The council is moving forward with demolition for safety and security reasons. Empty buildings can attract unwanted inhabitants and lead to other liability issues.

Next Steps: Once the demolition is complete, the site will consist of a concrete slab covering the ground and chain link fencing surrounding the perimeter.

Per the 2018 State Budget Act, all current California courthouse projects not funded to begin new construction must be reassessed and reprioritized, including the new Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse project. The Judicial Council has started this reassessment and will continue that work through much of 2019.

For more information on the new courthouse project, visit the California court’s website at http://www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-santabarbara.htm.