SAN FRANCISCO—The State Public Works Board today approved acquisition of the site for a new courthouse for the Superior Court of Tuolumne County. The site, located just beyond the Sonora city limits in an area long planned for a new law and justice center for the county, is approximately 4.33 acres bound by Old Wards Ferry Road and Highway 108. Tuolumne County owns the land and has made significant improvements to the property, including roads and utilities. The state will purchase the property from Tuolumne County for $800,000.
The proposed new building will house five courtrooms in approximately 66,700 square feet. It will consolidate operations from three buildings and centralize criminal, civil, traffic, juvenile, and probate proceedings. The new courthouse will also provide adequate space for services such as jury assembly and deliberation rooms, the self-help center, the children’s waiting room, family court mediation, and waiting rooms.
Escrow is expected to close by June 2012, enabling the project to proceed into architectural design by the Sacramento-based firm of Lionakis. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in early 2015. The new courthouse is expected to generate hundreds of construction jobs and thousands more community jobs through its indirect benefit to the local economy. The project’s construction manager at risk, who will be selected this fall, will conduct local outreach to ensure that qualified local subcontractors and suppliers have the opportunity to participate in bidding, which is currently scheduled for late 2014. Completion of the new courthouse is scheduled for mid-2016.
The new courthouse project was ranked as a “Critical 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 the state’s General Fund.
More information about these projects can be found on the California Courts website.