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Plans for a new courthouse in Quincy for the Superior Court of Plumas County has received formal approval to begin, with funding authorization April 12 by the State Public Works Board. This approval marks the official start of the courthouse construction project, which will be managed by the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
The proposed project would replace the court's space in the Quincy Courthouse with a modern, secure courthouse housing three courtrooms in 38,280 square feet. The court currently occupies about a quarter of the historic courthouse, which is owned by the county and shared with county offices. The courthouse, built in 1921, does not meet modern operational and security requirements, and cannot be expanded to meet the needs of the court.
The proposed project would enable the court to greatly improve security and provide basic services currently not possible because of space limits, such as a self-help center, adequately sized public-service counters, a jury assembly room, attorney-client meeting rooms, and a children's waiting room. Security improvements would include a secure public lobby, separate hallways for the public, staff, and in-custody defendants, in-custody holding, and secured parking for judges. The proposed project also includes surface parking for staff, visitors, and jurors.
The proposed project is funded by Senate Bill 1407. The Judicial Council ranks it as a "critical need".
SB 1407 was enacted by the state Legislature last year to provide up to $5 billion in funding for critically needed new and renovated court facilities using court user fees rather than the state's General Fund.
The Quincy courthouse project is scheduled for completion by fall 2015. Once the new courthouse is completed, the court will vacate its space in the historic courthouse, and the county will maintain ownership of the building.
See next week's newspaper for more information.
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