Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010
Square footage: 97,266
Current authorized project budget: $97,831,000
In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.
The proposed new Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse would increase efficiency and security by consolidating all criminal and traffic court operations in one modern, secure building for the south district. It would also co-locate jury services with the criminal courtrooms. The new facility would relieve the historic Anacapa courthouse of criminal proceedings and replace the Figueroa courthouse and Jury Services building, both of which would be vacated by the court once the new building is completed.
The proposed project would also provide basic services not currently provided to south district court users due to limited space, including appropriately sized courtrooms, jury deliberation rooms, an adequately sized self-help center, a children's waiting room, attorney/client interview rooms, and ADA accessibility. Enhanced security features would include entrance screening of all court users and adequately sized in-custody holding. The proposed project also includes secure parking for judges as well as a 240-car parking structure for staff, visitors, and jurors.
April 2012: Due to the current fiscal crisis, options to renovate and expand the current courthouse is being explored. As we learn more, this project web page will be updated.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
The AOC has complied with CEQA by filing a categorical exemption for this project on April 12, 2011.
Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
Construction Manager at Risk
To be selected, schedule TBD
What is the project's current status?
The New Santa Barbara County Criminal Courthouse is in architectural design-preliminary plans, with a current expected completion date of 1 Q 2020.
What is the New Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse?
The proposed courthouse includes the construction of a new criminal courthouse and parking for the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara (Superior Court). The courthouse includes eight courtrooms, space to support courthouse operations, and improved security including a larger holding facility for in-custody defendants who are daily transported by the Sheriff from the main jail for their court appearances. In addition to the courthouse, off-site parking will be built to support the courthouse as well as county parking potentially displaced by the project. See Figures 1 and 2 at the end of this document for a Project Site Map and Conceptual Site Plan.
Why is a new courthouse needed?
The existing Superior Court has criminal courtrooms in both the Historic “Anacapa” Courthouse as well as in the Figueroa Division Courthouse. These courtrooms and supporting facilities no longer function well for criminal proceedings. Both facilities are severely lacking in security, for court staff, the public, jurors and witnesses. Prisoners cannot be moved from their holding cells in the basement into any of the trial courtrooms without crossing through public areas often including crossing a public street. In addition, the Figueroa Division Courthouse is overcrowded and has other physical deficiencies that impact the delivery of services. The new courthouse will be used to accommodate the existing caseload and new security requirements; there will be no new criminal courtrooms and no new employees added to the Superior Court as part of this project.
Where will the new courthouse be located?
The new courthouse will be located at 1025 Santa Barbara Street, adjacent to the Figueroa Courthouse. Acquisition was completed in mid-2012.Who owns the existing court facilities?
Since 2009, $1.7 billion in court construction funds have been borrowed, swept to the General Fund, or redirected to court operations As a result, this project, as with other courthouse projects statewide, has been subjected to several delays, and has been required by the Judicial Council to undergo reductions to its construction budget, overseen by a statewide oversight committee of justices, judges, and public building experts. Funding of future phases of this project depends in part on what happens to court construction funds in future fiscal years. This web page will be updated with any changes.
How many courtrooms will be in the new Santa Barbara courthouse?
The proposed new Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse will have eight courtrooms replacing the six criminal courtrooms in the existing Figueroa Division and two criminal courtrooms that are in the Historic “Anacapa” Courthouse directly across the street. While these courtrooms are already in downtown Santa Barbara, they are deficient and are not secure. Beyond replacing these inadequate, existing courtrooms, there will be no new courtrooms or staff added to the new courthouse.
Who is the architect for the project?
Council staff received numerous proposals for architectural services for the proposed new Santa Barbara Criminal Courthouse. Staff and the Santa Barbara Superior Court interviewed a short list of qualified architects. The award-winning firm of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners of Santa Monica was selected. A local architect will also be selected to participate on the design team in an effort to ensure local design sensitivities. Local architects are currently being interviewed and a selection is expected by the end of April.
How will the local community have input regarding the courthouse project?
Council staff recognize the importance of the local identity and historic presence of the court. It also recognizes the importance of community input on this project. The state’s funding process does not release design funds until acquisition of potential sites is complete; therefore, staff have not yet begun detailed design for this project. When the project is approved and design work begins, there are several avenues through which the local community will have input in the new courthouse project, including:
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