SAN FRANCISCO—Design of the new Lakeport Courthouse will proceed with a revised north option, after design refinements and site studies confirmed that this approach best meets all criteria including functionality, security, access, public presence, parking capacity, compliance with the city’s “cone of vision” easement, and preservation of views from Vista Point. The local project advisory group, which includes members of local government, the business community, and the Lake Superior Court, validated this conclusion at a meeting today.
The building layout has been revised from earlier concepts to a single story and a basement along the site’s north side, with an extension curving around to the east, taking advantage of the site’s grade. The building will house four courtrooms in approximately 50,000 square feet. Design concepts were refined, and site studies compared this option with the original a two-story south option. These studies confirmed that the north option best meets the needs of the court in serving the public and responds to community feedback. The current courthouse layout is one level lower than earlier concepts, ensuring that views of Clear Lake from Vista Point are maintained.
The appearance of the building at 675 Lakeport Boulevard has yet to be designed. When the design by Mark Cavagnero Associates is further along, the AOC and the court plan to enable the public to view the design.
Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2013 and be completed in late 2014, but this schedule is subject to change. The project is funded by Senate Bill 1407, which finances critically needed courthouse construction, renovation, and repair through a portion of judicial branch fees, fines, and penalties, with no effect on the state’s General Fund. The new courthouse project was ranked as an “immediate need” in the judicial branch’s capital-outlay plan and is among the branch’s highest-priority infrastructure projects. However, the state Budget Act for fiscal year 2011–2012 contained unprecedented cuts to the judicial branch budget and in particular to the account that funds SB 1407 projects. These cuts are expected to cause delays in certain projects. The specific effect on this project, if any, won’t be known for several months. In the meantime, architectural design for the project is proceeding.
More information about the project is available on the California Courts website: www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-lake.htm