New Courthouse Planned for Downtown Railyards

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DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO --

A brand new, 405,000 square foot courthouse is slated to be the first project at the Railyards Development in Downtown.  The land has already been purchased, but funding for the $300 million project is still up in the air.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says after years of roadblocks because of budget cuts, now is the time to move forward with a new and improved courthouse.

"The current court house is too crowded and too tight.  I’ve seen it, shackled inmates walking behind judges' chambers,” said Steinberg.

Friday, Steinberg stood with Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Assembly member Roger Dickinson and others to unveil plans for the new facility.

Judge Robert Hight says Sacramento has outgrown the nearly 50-year-old Schaber Courthouse, and the facility is too small and lacking essential security features.

"It’s very exciting because we’re going to have an opportunity here to truly serve the public with a state of the art courthouse that’s safe, but also meets the needs of the public for justice," said Hight.

The new building will house 44 courtrooms and is slated to cost roughly $300 million.  $27 million has already been allocated from the state.

The project is funded by a senate bill enacted back in 2008, which funds courthouse construction through bonds.  A spokesperson for Assembly Member Roger Dickinson says the legislature and the governor must leave enough money in the courthouse construction fund to pay off the bonds.

As the first development planned for the Railyards, lawmakers expect construction to help jump-start development at the Railyards and add new jobs.

The project is expected to create up to about 1,800 jobs.  Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2017, it should be complete by 2020.