San Diego's new 'city' courthouse is a trendy, safer alternative to the old one – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Stretching 22 tales into the sky above downtown San Diego, the new $555.5 million state courthouse is a excessive-tech marvel the place individuals from all walks of life are possible to cross paths.

And but one of the extra attention-grabbing enhancements the court docket constructing has over the old one — at the least from a security standpoint — has to do with who possible gained’t be crossing paths anymore: the prisoners and the public.

Defendants transported from jail to court docket will not be escorted down the identical crowded hallways as attorneys, jurors and witnesses like they've for many years in the present downtown courthouse, the place in some locations the teams are separated solely by a sheriff’s deputy and a yellow stripe on the flooring.

In the new constructing, which will probably be devoted Monday in an invite-solely occasion, deputies will transfer defendants from the sally port to the underground holding areas and into the courtrooms by safe elevators that run from the basement to the higher ranges.

Nor was there room in the price range for a $25 million tunnel that may have related downtown’s Central Jail to the new courthouse. Authentic plans for building of the tunnel had been scrapped due to price range issues.

For now, in-custody defendants will probably be bused the two blocks from the jail.

Sheriff Invoice Gore has stated for years that the tunnel is important for safety and effectivity causes. In accordance to a Sheriff’s Division examine, it takes deputies 26 minutes to escort a individual throughout the bridge that at the moment hyperlinks the downtown jail to the present Central Courthouse. With out that bridge, the time greater than doubles to 61 minutes.

Busing inmates the quick distance from the jail is a much less-than-best answer, one that may value an estimated $three.three million in bills annually.

A plan is now in the works for the county to take possession of the old courthouse property and to construct the tunnel, as an alternative of the state, however these plans haven't but been finalized.

The probate and household courts will transfer to the new court docket constructing first, and are anticipated to be up and operating by July 17, court docket authorities stated. That very same day, members of the public are anticipated to begin reporting for jury service at the new constructing.

The civil and prison departments will transfer by the finish of August.

Particulars: San Diego Central Courthouse

Location: 1100 Union St.

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Contractor: Rudolph and Sletten

Description: 22 flooring, 389 toes excessive, 714,000 sq. toes, 71 courtrooms, three basements

Open: July 17 for household regulation and probate, adopted by weekly strikes, ending Aug. 21.

Development particulars: 12,500 tons of metal, 160,000 sq. toes of exterior glass, 25,000 sq. toes of ornamental stone, 748 leather-based jury chairs.

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San Diego's new 'city' courthouse is a trendy, safer alternative to the old one - The San Diego Union-Tribune