Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Builders Sacramento: August 20, 2013

$65.8M courthouse breaks ground in Yuba City

The future site of a $65.8 million courthouse for Sutter County didn't look like much at a groundbreaking Tuesday — it was only a field full of star thistle — but just envisioning the new facility was enough to build excitement.

"Like so many involved in the court system, I look forward to the day when the court is completed and open for business," Sutter County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Whiteaker said at the ceremony. "People who work in the courts and in the public that utilize the court deserve a modern courthouse with less cramped quarters, and that's what this court promises."

The state-led project promises a 73,853-square-foot building equipped with seven courtrooms, although only six will be used to begin with.

Its purpose is to provide more efficient operations and better access to justice by replacing and consolidating two overcrowded facilities, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The courthouse, located next to the jail on Civic Center Boulevard, will cost tens of millions of dollars and be funded by trial court user fees through Senate Bill 1407. Swinerton Builders will construct the new building.

About 200 people attended the groundbreaking. Speakers included Administrative Director of the Courts Steven Jahr, California State Sen. Jim Nielsen, Yuba City Mayor John Buckland, a representative for Assemblyman Dan Logue and several Sutter County judges.

Sutter County Judge Christopher Chandler said it has been hard for the community to get to a point where building a new courthouse is possible.

"We understand the issues that face the state," he said at the ceremony. "I must confess to this crowd that one of the hardest decisions I've made that was a nonjudicial decision was agreeing to the cuts that were necessary within the last 12 months to make this project come together and stay on track."

New courthouses are being built around the state. However, Jahr said the Sutter County courthouse was ranked as an immediate need by the Judicial Branch's capital outlay plan.

"Given the ongoing fiscal challenges for the state and the judicial branch ... we were fortunate to secure funding for this project at an earlier stage and despite challenges to now have reached this milestone in beginning construction," he said.

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