Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010
This project is in architectural design with working drawings delayed until FY 2014-2015, based on the Judicial Council’s February 26, 2013 decision. The current expected completion date is 3 Q 2017.
Square footage: 50,158
Current authorized project budget: $55,258,000
In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.
The Lakeport Courthouse was constructed in 1968. The court occupies only the 4th floor of this shared-use building. This overcrowded faciity has significant security problems, severe accessibility deficiencies, and many physical problems preventing the court from providing safe and efficient court services to the public.
The project will provide a four-courtroom courthouse to replace the existing Lakeport Courthouse and leased Records Storage Annex and will include support space for court administration, court clerk, court security operations and holding; and building support space.
In early 2011, the AOC acquired a site for the new courthouse located at 675 Lakeport Boulevard, within city limits near downtown Lakeport. The site has good access from Highway 29 and Lakeport Boulevard and is close to services that will make it convenient for court users.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
The AOC is the lead agency for preparation of an environmental report to comply with CEQA.
August 23, 2010, to September 22, 2010: Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration circulated. The draft study evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommended mitigation measures.
September 15, 2010: Public meeting held.
In response to public comments, the AOC completed a Final Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration. (33 MB)
On December 9, 2010, the AOC filed a Notice of Determination, thereby completing the CEQA process.
Architect's rendering: New Lakeport Courthouse, looking northwest
Architect's rendering: New Lakeport Courthouse entry
Mark Cavagnero and Associates
Construction Manager at Risk
Gilbane Building Company
What is the impact of the state’s current budget crisis on this project?
The state Budget Act for fiscal year 2011–2012 contained unprecedented cuts to the judicial branch budget in general and to the account that funds SB 1407 projects in particular. Taking account of the state’s continuing fiscal crisis, in April 2012, the Judicial Council approved cost-reduction measures affecting all projects funded by SB 1407. News release.
As a result, this project will be required to undergo an additional budget reduction of 3 percent or more of hard construction costs. Further reductions beyond the minimum are expected if no compromises to safety, security, building performance, or court operations will result. Until the state Legislature resolves the budget for the coming fiscal year, any future impact on funding the next phases of this project is unknown. This web page will be updated with any changes.
How is the new courthouse funded?
The courthouse will be funded without impact to the state’s General Fund. The funds will come from statewide increases in court user fees, authorized by Senate Bill 1407, which passed in 2008. This bill approved the issuance of up to $5 billion in lease revenue bonds to fund this project and 40 others throughout the state, to be repaid by court fees, penalties, and assessments.
Why is the county spending money on a new courthouse when there are so many other local needs?
The project is funded and managed by the state and not the County. The courts are a separate branch of government, now independent of the County administrative structure. We share the same building, the County collects court-imposed fees and fines, and we work together in many areas, but we are separate branches of government.
Why do we need a new courthouse?
The court occupies the 4th floor of the existing Lakeport Courthouse, which poorly serves the growing needs of the Superior Court. The current courthouse is severely overcrowded, lacks sufficient parking, and lacks adequate security features, causing unnecessary risk to the staff and public who use the building.
Additionally, as anyone who has been summoned for jury duty is very aware, there is no place to wait prior to being sent into a courtroom for the formal jury selection process. The new courthouse will have a jury assembly room with ample seating, vending, and restroom facilities.
What will happen to the current courthouse when the new courthouse is complete?
The court will vacate the fourth floor, but County offices will remain in the existing courthouse building in downtown Lakeport. County departments will eventually be able to utilize the vacated space on the fourth floor to help address the County’s space needs.
How will this project help our local economy?
These projects provide valuable economic stimulus in local communities—the Lakeport project is estimated to create more than 1,700 direct and indirect jobs as it progresses through design, construction, and completion. The construction manager for the project will perform local outreach to ensure that qualified local subcontractors and suppliers have the opportunity to bid on construction work when that phase nears. Construction is scheduled for fall of 2012 – summer of 2014. This timeline is subject to change.
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