Most Viewed Stories
Windows, interior walls going into courthouse
Construction continues to be on time, on budget
The South County Justice Center is still on schedule and on budget and is expected to open sometime in early October, according to officials with the Administrative Office of the Courts.
On Wednesday, construction crews were busy installing drywall, applying protective glazing on windows, and pouring asphalt on the north parking lot of the new three-story, $93 million county courthouse.
Jerry Avalos, project manager with the AOC, said that on average, up to 150 workers are on site on a daily basis. Teresa Ruano, spokesperson for the AOC, said current construction is focusing on curtain wall and window systems, metal stud framing, rough-in of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, drywall installation and exterior waterproofing.
Once the building is weatherized, it’s exterior will start resembling the detailed artist rendering that is located at the construction site.
“Once you get the exterior looking good, people are going to say ‘When is it going to open?’ It’s going to take a while, but we’re still on target,” Avalos said.
When the remaining interior finishes occur, furniture — supplied by two major dealers from the Fresno area — will go in sometime in late summer.
Though construction should be complete by September, the court will have roughly a month to move in, Avalos said.
Move in, he said, involves dry runs with security.
“Breaching of basement security for holding cells, transportation of in-custodies, security electronics...all that needs to be flushed out,” Avalos said, adding that a number of agencies will coordinate the effort, including the Tulare County Superior Court, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, the city of Porterville, and the AOC.
A grand opening is also planned. Avalos said the AOC may wait a few weeks to a month after the courthouse opens before it holds a grand opening ceremony inviting local dignitaries and organizations involved in the project.
Avalos said that a lot of the credit should also go to the workers who are on the site each day and are excited to see how the project slowly comes to fruition.
“A good amount of these workers are from the local area and they are going to see the value of such a nice building coming to their communities,” he said.
The courthouse will have nine courtrooms, two of them larger than the rest, and offices for judges and staff. It will employ approximately 150 to 200 people when it is fully utilized, although officials said operations will be phased-in over time.
It will be a full-service courthouse, having both misdemeanor and felony trials, as well as civil trials.