An artist's rendering depicts the new Yolo County Courthouse, which will be built in downtown Woodland. Courtesy photo

An artist's rendering depicts the new Yolo County Courthouse, which will be built in downtown Woodland. Courtesy photo

Local News

Yolo courthouse project proceeds to bidding phase

By From page A3 | November 07, 2012

Construction of the new Yolo Superior Courthouse in Woodland received a green light last week when the state treasurer completed sale of $133.8 million in lease-revenue construction bonds. The bonds will be repaid over a 25-year period through court user fees and penalties and without the use of any state general funds.

Yolo’s presiding Judge, Steve Basha, said construction is slated to begin next spring, thanks to the efforts of Yolo court officials, state agencies, the Woodland City Council and staff, and private businesses.

“All judges on the Yolo Superior Court are sincerely grateful to those who contributed to this collaborative process,” Basha said.

The project now proceeds to subcontractor bidding, which will be conducted by Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the project’s construction manager. Hensel Phelps will issue prequalification guidelines and conduct outreach workshops with the state Department of General Services for local subcontractors to ensure that all qualified subcontractors have the opportunity to participate in the bidding.

Construction is scheduled to star in early 2013, with completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2015. A ceremonial groundbreaking will be scheduled soon.

The Yolo Courthouse project survived several rounds of cost-cutting to keep the project alive, a news release said. The project team, consisting of members from the Yolo Superior Court, the State Administrative Office of the Courts, the project architects and the construction manager proposed changes that not only met but exceeded the cost-reduction mandates set earlier in the year by the Judicial Council.

In all, the construction budget was reduced by more than $9 million. The team worked to create a well-constructed building while using the latest in cost-savings materials and techniques, the news release said.

“Even with the cost reductions we achieved, this will be a state-of-the-art building that will meet safety, security and access requirements as well as being a building that will have the stature and distinguishing characteristics of a courthouse,” Basha said.

The new courthouse will be a five-story, 14-courtroom structure at 1000 Main St., between Fifth and Sixth streets in downtown Woodland. It will consolidate Yolo’s seven existing court facilities — some overcrowded and unsafe — under one roof, improving access to justice for all Yolo County residents.

Designed by architects Fentress Architects and Dreyfuss and Blackford of Sacramento, the new courthouse design features a four-column portico entryway reminiscent of the elegant lines of the current historic courthouse on Woodland’s Court Street. The design incorporates many sustainability features and includes numerous energy-saving features that will make the new courthouse more economical to operate over time, the news release said.

More information about the new Yolo Superior Courthouse is available on the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-yolo.htm.

Special to The Enterprise

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