Nevada City Courthouse project to proceed
September 13, 2012
Court facilities group accepts audit suggestions
A working group overseeing the state's court facilities will recommend that all 137 recommendations made from an independent audit be implemented, after a vote Friday.
Most of the recommendations in the 437-page audit report on California's court construction program focuses on improving the program's policies, processes and procedures.
The working group also recommended that the creation and maintenance of all the required elements in the report be handled in a unified manner and be accomplished by July 16, 2013.
"The report will be a tremendous tool as we move forward with our capital projects. The recommendations will serve as a template for our future success," said Justice Brad Hill, chair of the Court Facilities Working Group and Administrative Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, in a statement.
The massive audit was conducted by Pegasus-Global Holdings, Inc., an independent consulting firm, after the Administrative Office of the Courts came under scathing scrutiny when a group of current and former judges published report that described the agency as dysfunctional, controlling, deceptive, overstaffed and top heavy with high-salaried bureaucrats.
The audit to the working group follows a Judicial Council decision on Aug. 31 to restructure the Office of Court Construction and Maintenance so that court construction and maintenance will be overseen by two different offices within the AOC.
The audit had three objectives: to assess the overall management of the AOC court construction program compared to industry standards and best practices; to assess outcomes of six sample projects at various stages of completion; and to assess organizational structure, staff qualifications, and quality of project consultants, including architects, engineers and general contractors.
- Christopher Rosacker
After three days of reevaluating more than 30 statewide courthouse construction projects in an attempt to save around $500 million, the Nevada County Courthouse was among the projects chosen to proceed, according to a staff member of the California Office of Court Construction and Management.
Nevada County Courthouse Chief Executive Officer Sean Metroka was given about 15 minutes Wednesday to present the unified vision that the courthouse should simply be renovated using only the existing land, a plan he said would save about $40 million.
This proposal, developed by a group of Nevada City and county officials, is a departure from what was originally budgeted as a $108 million rebuild of the 148-year-old facility that sits overlooking downtown Nevada City.
Ever since the Administrative Office of the Courts determined that the courthouse is “unsafe, substandard, overcrowded and functionally deficient,” plans on how to alleviate that prognosis has shifted from completely demolishing and replacing the courthouse, perhaps elsewhere, to simply renovating it. Neither option was without its detractors.
During its meetings Wednesday through Friday, the Court Facilities Working Group heard from representatives for each of the 31 projects up for review and then voted to determine which projects can proceed, and which should be indefinitely delayed, according to an AOC spokesperson.
Which of those projects will join Nevada City in proceeding forward was not available as of press time.
Check back with http://www.TheUnion.com for more updates as they become available.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4236.
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