Crime, Fire + Courts

Yolo courthouse project advances to design phase

By June 6, 2011

Purchase by the state of the site for the new Woodland courthouse was completed last week with close of escrow and the state’s $2.52 million payment to the Redevelopment Agency of the city of Woodland, Yolo Superior Court officials announced.

Former occupants of the city block bounded by Main, Fifth and Sixth streets and Lincoln Avenue have been relocated. The Woodland Redevelopment Agency expedited the state’s purchase of the land by assembling various properties on the block, and then sold the land to the state. This arrangement enabled the courthouse to remain in downtown Woodland.

“We’re delighted to pass yet another milestone on our journey to build a new courthouse for the citizens of this county,” Presiding Judge David Rosenberg said. “Now we move into the serious task of designing a signature building that will fit well into the fabric of the Woodland community.”

Added Assistant Court Executive Officer Shawn Landry: “We thank the city, Administrative Office of the Courts, and local court leaders who were able to facilitate closing this deal and keeping the courthouse where it has historically been and where we are glad it will stay — downtown Woodland.”

Completion of site acquisition clears the way for architectural design. The partnership of Fentress Architects and Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects will design the building. Preliminary plans, the first phase of architectural design during which the building’s layout and appearance will be developed, is expected to take six months.

The new 14-courtroom courthouse will be approximately 163,000 square feet, consolidating seven overcrowded court facilities into a single building, with adjacent parking.

The Administrative Office of the Courts also is finalizing negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad for a parking lot to accommodate 220 cars at Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street, across the street from the new courthouse.

Construction is scheduled to start in early 2013.

The courthouse project, with a total estimated cost of $165.3 million, is scheduled for completion in late 2014 or early 2015. The new Woodland courthouse is among 41 projects funded by Senate Bill 1407 (2008), which finances critically needed courthouse construction, renovation and repair through a portion of judicial branch fees, penalties and assessments. These projects do not draw from the state’s general fund.

More information about the project is available on the California Courts website, http://www.courts.ca.gov/2793.htm.

Special to The Enterprise

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