New courthouse: price cut, bonds ready

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 7, 2012 —


Construction of the new Yolo Superior Courthouse in Woodland received a green light late October when the State Treasurer completed sale of $133.8 million in lease-revenue construction bonds. The bonds will be repaid over a 25-year period through court user fees and penalties and without the use of any State General Fund monies.

ARTIST’S RENDERING OF THE PLANNED NEW COURTHOUSE. The design is intended to evoke the classical lines of the current Yolo County courthouse on Court Street in Woodland.

“Over the past two years, many people from the Yolo Court, State agencies, Woodland City Council and staff, and private businesses have devoted extraordinary efforts and time to help us reach the point where, barring unforeseen circumstances, construction of a new courthouse for the Yolo Superior Court will begin in the Spring of 2013.  All judges on the Yolo Superior Court are sincerely grateful to those who contributed to this collaborative process” stated Presiding Judge Steve Basha in a press release.

[adrotate group=”7″]   The project now proceeds to subcontractor bidding, which will be conducted by Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the project’s construction manager.  Hensel Phelps will issue prequalification guidelines and conduct outreach workshops with the Department of General Services for local subcontractors, to ensure that all qualified subcontractors have the opportunity to participate in the bidding.  That process is anticipated to begin in the coming months and notice will be publically announced at that time.

The project is scheduled to start construction in early 2013, with completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.  A ceremonial groundbreaking will be scheduled soon.
The Yolo Courthouse project survived several rounds of cost-cutting to keep the project alive.  The project team, consisting of members from the Yolo Superior Court, the State Administrative Office of the Courts, the project architects, and the construction manager, proposed changes that not only met but exceeded the cost-reduction mandates set earlier in the year by the Judicial Council.  In all, the construction budget was reduced by more than $9 million. The team worked to create a well-constructed building while using the latest in cost-savings materials and techniques.

“Even with the cost reductions we achieved, this will be a state-of-the-art building that will meet safety, security, and access requirements as well as being a building that will have the stature and distinguishing characteristics of a courthouse” said Presiding Judge Basha.  The new courthouse will be a five-story, 14-courtroom structure located in downtown Woodland between Fifth and Sixth Streets at 1000 Main Street. It will consolidate seven unsafe and overcrowded court facilities under one roof, improving access to justice for all Yolo County residents.

Designed by architects Fentress Architects and Dreyfuss and Blackford of Sacramento, the new Courthouse design features a four-column portico entryway reminiscent of the elegant lines of the old historic Courthouse. The design incorporates many sustainability features and includes numerous energy-saving features that will make the new Courthouse more economical to operate over time.

More information about the new courthouse is available at

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

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