Sacramento Breaks Ground on Spacious Courthouse

By Lisa Kopochinski

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Following a delay of approximately one year, officials recently broke ground on the $493 million Sacramento County Courthouse.

With a completion date slated for December 2023, construction will soon begin on this mega-project that will help alleviate overcrowding at the current Gordon Schaber Courthouse.

“We finally see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell Hom. “Replacing the antiquated downtown courthouse with a new state-of-the-art court facility will not only bring renewed prosperity to the Sacramento region but, more importantly, meet the much-needed judicial needs of our growing community for years to come.”

Clark Construction Group is the general contractor on the new 17-floor, 53-courtroom courthouse, which is located on the block bordering H and G streets and 5th and 6th streets.

The new 538,000-square-foot courthouse—which was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification— will consolidate operations under one roof with larger courtrooms and jury assembly rooms.

For many years, Sacramento court and city leaders wanted to build a new courthouse to replace the 1960s Schaber courthouse, which has become unsafe, cramped, and obsolete.

“The needs of the county have changed dramatically in the last 50 years,” said Clark Construction Senior Vice President Mike Ricker, in a statement. “We are challenged to build a facility that will meet those needs today and for future generations to come.”

The Judicial Council of California had originally approved plans in early 2016 for the new courthouse, but a funding crisis put the project on hold. Funding was later approved in 2018, with construction scheduled to begin in fall 2019. However, delays pushed the project out further.

The new courthouse will feature a glass curtain wall cladding on the north side of the new building, allowing for natural sunlight in the public corridors. A view of the American River and beyond will also be a big benefit.

The south façade will be arrayed with vertical steel panels, while east and west sides—with white its precast concrete—will match the Capitol building. NBBJ is the architect on this impressive project.

Retired Superior Court Judge and now-court Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Connelly, who championed the courthouse effort for years, called the project “a half-billion-dollar dream come true,” adding “the mirage in the distance for years has become a reality.”