Judicial Facility Project

New Courthouse

Judicial Facility - History 2012 -2017

Judicial Facility Planning 2023 to Present
Pierce County Judicial Facility History Summary
The current Courthouse was originally constructed in 1905 and has been the center of the Circuit Court since that time, and there continues to be ongoing and increasing challenges with expansion, safety, security and overall operational efficiencies that have been studied and considered over the course of 27 years.
•    1996-1997 – Voorhis Associates conducted a pre-architectural program and needs assessment of a new Justice Center to include the Jail, Sheriff’s Office and Circuit Court.
•    1998 – DLR Group, KKE provide a comprehensive analysis and project proposal of a Justice Center for consideration with a projected cost of $14-$15M.
•    2012 – Adhoc Committee created to study issues associated with the County Jail and Justice System.
•    2013 – Adhoc II further studies the options of a Justice Center vs. a standalone Jail.
•    2014 - County Board Adopts Resolution 13-36 to authorize pursuing the Jail Project, remodel the existing Annex into a Justice Center and to consider construction of a Courthouse at the Jail/Sheriff’s Department site. 
•    2014 – Adhoc III determines final jail site and jail size, acknowledging that the building site should accommodate future Courts facility and designed accordingly. 
•    2017 – The New Jail and Sheriff’s Office is constructed and occupied. Jail site master plan accounts for future courts and parking.
•    2017 – Potter Lawson Architect Firm provides a final report regarding a study and options to address the existing Courthouse and Annex, including renovations to the existing Courthouse and Annex if the Courts were to be moved to the new location.
•    2020 – The old County Board Room of the Courthouse is remodeled into an additional Court (Hearing Room) to address the backlog and increased court cases. (does not meet the specifications and criteria of the District Court)
•    July 2022 – US Marshal’s Office conducts a security assessment of the Pierce County Courthouse.
•    February 14, 2023 – Closed session meeting of the Law Enforcement Committee with Judge Rohl to discuss Courthouse security concerns. 
•    April 18, 2023 – Closed Session meeting of the County Board with Judge Rohl to discuss Courthouse security concerns associated with the results of the assessment. 
•    April 28, 2023 – Emailed memo from Administration to F&P Members regarding the need for a Courthouse Facilities Needs Assessment and the formulation of an Adhoc committee whose responsibility would be to provide a recommendation to the County Board.
•    May 1, 2023 – The Finance and Personnel Committee creates a Judicial Facilities Planning Adhoc Committee pursuant to 4-21 (I) of the Pierce County Code. 
•    May 23, 2023 – Judicial Facility Planning Adhoc meeting. 
•    June 5, 2023 – The Finance and Personnel Committee authorizes a Judicial Facility Needs Assessment to be performed by Market & Johnson and Wold Architects at a cost not to exceed $21,000. 
•    June 6, 2023 – August 14, 2023 – Wold Architects meet with staff from each County Department to discuss projected staffing and space needs.
•    August 29, 2023 – Judicial Facility Planning Adhoc meeting. 
•    October 17, 2023 – Judicial Facility Planning Adhoc Committee recommends the approval of the Pierce County Courts addition concept (option B) with a total cost of $30,903,822 and forward to F&P. 
•    October 18, 2023 – Email from Administration to ALL County Board Members labeled “Important Update” related to the Court Facility planning, providing detailed information regarding the activities thus far, a description of the proposed project, associated costs and next steps related to bond financial consulting services to study and consider project funding options. 
•    October 25, 2023 – The proposed Judicial Facility site drawing and associated cost is published on the front page of the Pierce County Journal.
•    November 6, 2023 – The Finance and Personnel Committee considers proposals from qualified bond consulting firms; PMA Securities and Ehlers, ultimately selecting Ehlers. 
•    December 11, 2023 – A special Finance and Personnel Committee meeting is held to specifically discuss the proposed project and bonding options for consideration – no action taken. 
•    December 19, 2023 – County Board meeting scheduled to discuss the proposed project and bonding options for consideration.