Advisory Committee Approves Site for New Modesto Courthouse

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Contact: <a href="">Peter Allen</a>, 415-865-7740

March 12, 2014

Advisory Committee Approves Site for New Modesto Courthouse

Judge Patricia Lucas reviews comments made during during the meeting
Judge Lucas and Justice Hill lead the Court Facilities Advisory Committee

SAN FRANCISCO—At a public meeting on March 12 in San Francisco, the Court Facilities Advisory Committee voted to endorse a directive from its cost reduction subcommittee to continue negotiations on the preferred site for the new Stanislaus County Courthouse to be built on 10th Street in Modesto, CA. The meeting was convened by the chair, Administrative Presiding Justice Brad Hill of the Fifth District Court of Appeal, to listen to community concerns about where the new courthouse should be located.

“This is an extremely important process,” said Justice Hill. “We want to make sure we get it right. We have changed circumstances because of updated appraisals for the 10th Street site in downtown Modesto, and it’s important that we hear from everyone concerned.”

The 10th Street site totals approximately 2.75 acres, including the city block bounded by G and H Streets and 9th and 10th Streets in downtown Modesto. Portions of the 8-parcel site are owned by the City of Modesto; other parcels are privately owned. The site was chosen for its freeway access, proximity to the downtown business district, access to public transportation and parking, and as part of the city’s plan to revitalize downtown Modesto. Another property bounded by H and I Streets and 13th and 14th Streets was approved as an alternate site should negotiations for the preferred site fall through.

Currently, the Superior Court of Stanislaus County serves residents through seven separate facilities located throughout downtown Modesto, including the Modesto courthouse, the adjacent Hall of Records, and three leased facilities. The court also leases space in two buildings in the nearby cities of Ceres and Turlock. The seven facilities are overcrowded and have numerous functional and security issues, hindering the court’s ability to adequately deliver court services to county residents.

The new courthouse will have 26 courtrooms in approximately 300,000 square feet of space, consolidating court operations from the seven existing facilities. It will provide adequate space for court services, administration, security operations, and a holding area with a secure sallyport for the transportation of in-custody detainees.

The Court Facilities Advisory Committee (roster) was appointed in 2011 by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The committee makes recommendations to the Judicial Council concerning the state’s judicial branch capital program.