REDDING, Calif. — The fate of a new six-story Shasta County Courthouse in Redding, which was originally scheduled to open in 2020, is currently up in the air, as court projects throughout California are facing delays.
Construction on the approximately $165 million courthouse was scheduled to start next year, but the project, as well as 22 other state court projects, is delayed due to funding. Six of the 23 courthouse projects are already under construction, while the others are in various phases of development — either site acquisition, scope definition or design.
The state is lacking in funding due to a decline in traffic tickets and other fines that help fund the court system. The state also continues to take money from the statewide construction fund to pay for other needs, reported Redding Record Searchlight. Shasta County Court Executive Officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley told Redding Record Searchlight that about $226 million remains in the 2015-16 construction fund, which is about $100 million short of what’s needed for the courthouse projects. The money in that fund goes to bond payments on court construction projects.
Despite the delays, the state needs new and improved courthouses, Brad Hill, the presiding justice of Fresno-based Fifth District Court of Appeal who serves as chairman of the Court Facilities Advisory Committee, told Redding Record Searchlight. The new 165,296-square-foot Shasta County Courthouse, which has already dealt with delays because of previous state budget problems, would be located on an about two-acre site. It will take place of the former Shasta County Sheriff’s headquarters as well as some former medical offices and a former deli.
Once completed, it will feature 14 courtrooms, consolidate the adult and juvenile court operations into a single location and deliver two additional courtrooms to support planned new judgeships. It is expected to help ease security, access and overcrowding issues experienced at the current facility. Seattle-based NBBJ is serving as the architecture firm on the project, while Tempe, Ariz.-headquartered Sundt Construction is serving as the general contractor.
The delay in state court projects comes after Governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s 2016-17 budget on June 27. In the budget, he included a controversial $270 million addition for jail construction, despite the fact that Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees rejected this funding in May.