Sacramento County, New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse


Currently authorized design and construction of a new 53-courtroom 18-stories project in downtown Sacramento. The new facility would relocate 35 courtrooms from the existing Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse, and provide space for new judgeships from Assembly Bill (AB) 159 (Ch. 722, Statutes of 2007) and new judgeships from proposed SB 1150 (Corbett). The site for the project was acquired in October 2014. Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento currently serves the residents of Sacramento County from seven downtown facilities, including four leased facilities. DoF and PWB approved the COBCP with an increase to "approximately" 540,000 BGSF in Budget Year 2017-2018.

Gross Square Footage: 543,437
Total Courtrooms: 53
Current Authorized Project Budget: $500,908,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: NBBJ
CMA: AECOM
CMAR: Clark Construction Group, LLC
Fund: Senate Bill 1407

In January 2013, the JCC of California (JCC) indefinitely delayed the New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse project due to the State's fiscal crisis and continuing cuts in court construction funds. In the state's Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget, the Legislature allocated $40 million in one-time cash for court construction projects. In response to a recommendation from the JCC’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee, the JCC sponsored legislation to appropriate approximately $27 million for preliminary plans and working drawings for the new courthouse for Sacramento. After approval of the legislation in September 2014, the JCC proceeded with architectural design─preliminary plans activities. The Legislature also approved additional funds for the project’s working drawings phase, which will prepare detailed construction drawings and specifications.

Project Background
The Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, provides services from seven different court locations in Sacramento. The Superior Court’s main facility is the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse, which the County of Sacramento built in 1965. Originally designed with only 22 courtrooms, this courthouse now has 44 courtrooms for criminal, civil, probate, and small claims cases. The facility is very overcrowded, and it lacks many significant features that are needed to safely function as a criminal courthouse.

The JCC initially planned to provide a new 44-courtroom criminal courthouse to replace 35 courtrooms of the Schaber Courthouse in a new courthouse in Sacramento’s Railyard, provide minor renovation of the Schaber Courthouse, and consolidate most of the court's criminal operations and court functions from other downtown leased facilities into the two facilities. After completion of a Final EIR and filing of a Notice of Determination for the new courthouse in 2011, the State purchased a site, Lot 41 in the Sacramento Railyards, for the new courthouse. The 2.4-acre site is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of H Street and Sixth Street.

The JCC now proposes to revise the proposed criminal courthouse project to build one courthouse, the New Sacramento Courthouse, that consolidates the functions planned to be housed in a renovated Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse and the New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse. Both functions will be located in the New Sacramento Courthouse on Lot 41 in the Railyards. The new courthouse will have approximately 540,000 square feet of space and be 18 stories high (approximately 270 feet), which is approximately 135,000 square feet larger and 2 stories taller than the original project. The new courthouse will include 53 courtrooms. The modified project will not include renovation of Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse. Instead, after completing and opening the new courthouse, the JCC will close and secure the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse and its parcel. The JCC will request Legislative approval for disposition of the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse (through a sale or transfer of the property or another action) in accordance with State requirements.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance
After a lead agency’s certification of an EIR, if the lead agency proposes substantial changes to the project or substantial changes to the project’s circumstances occur or there is new information of substantial importance, Section 15162 of the State CEQA Guidelines describes the conditions under which a subsequent environmental document will may be prepared. An addendum to an EIR is appropriate and consistent with CEQA Section 21166 and CEQA Guidelines Sections 15162, 15163, and 15164 when a previously certified EIR has been prepared and the lead agency proposes some changes or revisions to the project or the circumstances surrounding the project have changed, but none of the changes or revisions will result in significant new or substantially more severe environmental impacts. The JCC is preparing an addendum to evaluate and confirm CEQA compliance for the revised proposed project changes to what the JCC described and evaluated in the 2011 Final EIR. The JCC filed the Addendum on March 8, Interested parties may obtain a copy of the Addendum with these links:

Interested parties can submit comments or questions on the Addendum to:
Mr. Jerome Ripperda
Senior Facilities Analyst, Facilities Services
Judicial Council of California
2860 Gateway Oaks, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833-3509
Jerry.Ripperda@jud.ca.gov
916-263-8865 (office), 916-263-2342 (fax)

This project is in the architectural design-working drawings phase. Construction is expected to begin August 2020 and is estimated to be complete August 2023.

Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California
94102-3688
E-mail
Facilities@jud.ca.gov

 
For Courts to Report Facilities Issues
Customer Service Center:
888-225-3583 or csc@jud.ca.gov