Glenn County, Willows Courthouse Renovation/Expansion

Superior Court of California, County of Glenn

Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010

Architect's rendering: Renovated Glenn County Courthouse with addition

Current Status
This project is in architectural design-working drawings, with a current expected completion date of 4 Q 2017.

Vital Statistics
Courtrooms: 3
Square footage: 41,867
Current authorized project budget: $40,953,000 
More information

In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.

Video: Statewide Tour of Courthouse Needs Includes Willows (3:53)

The Superior Court of Glenn County operates from two facilities—the Orland Branch, and the main facility, the Historic Courthouse in downtown Willows. The historic courthouse, built in 1894, has two stories totaling 16,100 square feet. The building received additions in the 1940s—three single-story structures that sit behind the original courthouse.

The proposed project will improve security and functionality and increase efficiency by consolidating the two facilities into one—a renovated and expanded historic courthouse in Willows. The proposed project is being planned consistent with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The previous additions will be demolished, returning the historic building to its original form before an addition is built behind it.

The historic courthouse will undergo a seismic strengthening and improvements to its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The historic courthouse will house the main entrance and lobby, security screening, self-help center, mediation and settlement spaces, court administration, and one courtroom. A planned two-story, 26,900 square-foot addition will be located behind the historic courthouse, on state property and on a small parcel to be acquired from Glenn County. The addition will house clerk's offices and court operations, two courtrooms, the sheriff, and holding areas for in-custody defendants. The addition will be designed as compatible with, but differentiated from, the historic building.

The proposed project also includes plans for the state to acquire a half-acre parcel of land within walking distance of the court to construct a new 50-car parking lot for visitors, jurors, and staff.

During construction, the court will vacate the main courthouse, operating at the Orland Branch and at the Willows Memorial Hall, which houses the Board of Supervisors. Staff will relocate to leased swing space in Willows until construction is complete.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The Judicial Council complied with CEQA by filing a categorical exemption for this project on December 1, 2010.

Architect's rendering: Renovated Glenn County Courthouse with addition

Architecture/Engineering Firm

Page & Turnbull

Construction Manager at Risk


Construction Subcontractors

Schedule TBD

April 2012 update

What is the impact of the state’s current budget crisis on this project?

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.

As a result, this project will be required to undergo a budget reduction of 2 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. This project is in preliminary plans, so this action is not expected to delay the project. 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.

February 2011

Who is the Judicial Council, and why are they managing this project?

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body for the California court system, including the trial courts, known as “Superior Courts,” based in each county. Among other responsibilities, the council--through its Capital Program unit--is responsible for planning, acquisition, design, renovation, and construction of court facilities. The new courthouse will be owned by the judicial branch.

How is the courthouse project 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.

Will the renovation project include parking?

Yes, the proposed project also includes plans for the state to acquire a half-acre parcel of land within walking distance of the court to construct a new 50-car parking lot for visitors, jurors, and staff.

Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Capital Program

455 Golden Gate Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, California

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888-225-3583 or
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