SAN FRANCISCO— The State Public Works Board (SPWB) today approved preliminary plans for the new Lakeport Courthouse for the Superior Court of Lake County, planned for a site at 675 Lakeport Boulevard. Designed by Mark Cavagnero and Associates, the new courthouse will replace the court’s current location on the fourth floor of the Lakeport Courthouse.
Today’s SPWB approval marks completion of the preliminary plans phase, which typically authorizes the project to proceed into working drawings. However, because of significant cuts to the California judicial branch budget proposed by the Governor and currently under consideration by the Legislature for fiscal year 2012–2013, the working drawings phase of this project may be delayed at least a year.
The new two-story, four-courtroom Lakeport Courthouse will complement the site’s unique hillside location. The exterior use of stone veneer and architecturally exposed concrete harmonizes with the area’s natural surroundings. The 50,000-square-foot structure will be built into the hillside so as not to obstruct the scenic view of the lake from the nearby visitors’ center. Sustainability features will include natural day-lighting in courtrooms and public areas, on-site stormwater management, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. The design of the new courthouse will reduce energy consumption by at least 15 percent and water use by at least 30 percent and will qualify the project for a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Construction was originally scheduled to begin in early 2014 and be completed in fall 2015, but that timeline is now subject to change depending on the outcome of the coming year’s state budget. When construction proceeds, the project is expected to generate hundreds of construction jobs and thousands of dollars in indirect benefit to the local economy. Before the project goes to bid, the construction manager at risk, Gilbane Building Company, will perform outreach to ensure that local subcontractors and suppliers have the opportunity to participate in prequalification and bidding. All qualified subcontractors, lower-tier subcontractors, and suppliers will be considered.
Construction will be conducted with mitigation measures in place for air quality, noise, erosion and stormwater control, and other environmental considerations, as specified in the project’s environmental report under the California Environmental Quality Act.
The new courthouse will replace the current Lakeport Courthouse, constructed in 1968. This overcrowded, shared-use building has substantial structural problems and significant security issues. The new courthouse will provide safe and efficient services for visitors and staff, a jury deliberation room, a secure sallyport for the transport of in-custody defendants between the jail and the courthouse, and adequate space for court administration.
The 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 in funding for new and renovated courthouses using court fees, penalties, and assessments rather than taxpayer revenues from the state’s General Fund. As previously noted, the timing of the next phase of this project is unknown until the state Legislature resolves the budget for the coming fiscal year.
More information about the project can be found on the California Courts website at: www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-lake.htm