SAN FRANCISCO—The State Public Works Board (SPWB) today approved acquisition of a site in Red Bluff for the new courthouse for the Superior Court of Tehama County. The site includes two parcels of land totaling approximately 4.4 acres between Walnut Street and Hook Road, in a 26-acre parcel owned by Tehama County. The state will purchase the land from the county for $1.2 million plus relocation costs. Buildings on the property will be demolished at start of construction.
“As the court budget has been cut year after year, it has become more and more difficult to provide the services which our Tehama County citizens expect and deserve. The modernization, consolidation, and centralization of the courts will bring new efficiencies that will greatly assist us in maintaining service levels and meeting our community’s expectations,” said Presiding Judge Richard Scheuler of the Superior Court of Tehama County.
The new courthouse will house five courtrooms in approximately 62,000 square feet. It will consolidate and replace five court facilities: four in downtown Red Bluff, including the space in the historic Tehama Courthouse, and one in Corning, resolving significant overcrowding as well as functional and security deficiencies.
Escrow on the property is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, enabling the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is managing the project, to proceed with architectural design, for which it has engaged the architecture firm of LPAS. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in early 2014 and be completed by fall 2015, subject to change.
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. 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 the state’s General Fund. The state Budget Act for fiscal year 2011–2012 contains significant cuts to the account that funds SB 1407 projects. These cuts may cause delays in SB 1407 projects and project budget reductions but are not expected to affect the site acquisition approved today.
More information on the project can be found on the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-tehama.htm.