New Maryland County Courthouse Project Underway

By CN Staff

COLUMBIA, Md.—Construction is set to begin on the new Howard County Circuit Courthouse in Columbia.

Clark Construction is the general contractor on the new 240,000-square-foot circuit courthouse that will feature space for the State’s Attorney, Sheriff, local Bar Association, Maryland Public Defender and Clerk of Courts. There will also be an office space and courtrooms for six judges, a large and comfortable jury assembly area, a cafeteria, fitness center, as well as an adjacent 691-space parking garage.

The project team will also construct a spacious security screening vestibule ahead of a four-story day-lit atrium that will provide easy wayfinding for courthouse visitors. 

Clark Construction is part of the Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners (ESJP) team that was selected to design-build-finance-operate-maintain the new circuit courthouse in Howard County, Maryland. Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, an affiliate of Clark Construction, is leading the project development that includes HOK as lead architect and Johnson Controls as facilities manager. S2N Technology Group, another affiliate of Clark, is also a part of the project.

This project is the first availability-payment structured municipal public-private partnership (P3) to reach financial close in the US, outside of Long Beach, California. The P3 contract between ESJP and Howard County covers a 32.5-year term.

Edgemoor-Star America is required to use minority and veteran-owned businesses for construction, operations, maintenance and supplies. The new Circuit Courthouse will be durable with high-quality systems to ensure its useful life extends well beyond the 30-year contract. 

According to the Howard County website, Edgemore-Star America will finance the full cost of the construction and be responsible for design, construction and 30-year operating and maintenance of the building. 

The County will provide $75 million financed by General Obligation bonds to the project company when the new courthouse is occupancy ready. The County will also provide an annual service payment of approximately $10 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2022, with annual adjustments for inflation thereafter.

Completion is slated for July 2021.