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Fentress, Dreyfuss & Blackford Take On Yolo County Courthouse Project

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The California State Administrative Office of the Courts has selected Fentress Architects, in association with Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects, to design a new 163,000-sq-ft courthouse for Yolo County in Woodland.

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The Woodland Courthouse has a construction budget of $173 million and is one of 41 courthouses awarded by the AOC in 2009 and funded by Senate Bill 1407. The courthouse will be paid for with funds collected from traffic fees and fines and completed in 2014.

The new courthouse will consolidate seven court locations throughout the county into one central facility, providing a unified and dignified identity for the Superior Court of California, County of Yolo. This consolidation will offer significant improvements in operational efficiency for court staff, as well as better security and clarity for the general public with just one destination.

Prominently located downtown on Main Street between 5th and 6th Streets, it will be the city’s most significant civic building in the past century. The site will host 14 courtrooms, jury assembly and state-of-the-art administrative and judicial offices. About 200 on-site parking spaces will be supplemented by more than 200 nearby off-street parking spaces.

Fentress says the design team is aiming to achieve LEED silver certification.

Currently, the main courthouse in the county is the historic Woodland Courthouse, constructed in 1917 as a shared court and county facility and now on the National Register of Historic Places. The county vacated the building in 1985 except for the district attorney’s office, which remained in the building until 1993.

The historic courthouse has been renovated as the court has grown and now houses eight marginal courtrooms. The AOC says this facility has significant security problems, severe accessibility deficiencies, is very overcrowded, and has many physical problems, preventing the court from providing safe and efficient services to the public. To meet current space needs, the court operates five other facilities, many with courtrooms, spread throughout the downtown Woodland area.

The county will retain title to the historic courthouse and occupy the building once the court vacates the space.

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