Plans to build a new criminal courthouse in Santa Barbara are moving forward. The multi-million dollar project is expected to create thousands of new jobs in the area. 1025 Santa Barbara street, near the Figueroa corridor, will most likely be the site for a new 152-million dollar criminal courthouse. The state approved the site selection last month.
As Superior Court Executive Officer, Gary Blair explains, "the invariably its going to bring in a number of construction jobs, architectural and engineering firms, materials and suppliers that supply those contractors, I can't put a number on it but its a big amount of money that will come into the community."
In addition to jobs, many hope it will also bring much needed new life to the area.
Resident Steve Nipper says, "the businesses are pretty run-down. I think we're kind of the last part of Santa Barbara downtown that hasn't been revitalized.
Santa Barbara's courthouse is among about a dozen sites in California set to receive state funds for improvements.
Blair explains, "The driving force is the absolute lack of security for prisoners. In order to move those in custody for hearings and trials, they have to be moved through public areas."
The new building will include holding cells, eight courtrooms. and consolidate criminal and traffic court operations in one 97,000 square foot building. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, and be complete by 2015.
Funding will come from monies collected from legal penalty fees and fines.