Imperial County, New El Centro Courthouse

El Centro Courthouse

Superior Court of California, County of Imperial

Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2009-2010

Criminal law cases would move from the historic courthouse in El Centro

Current Status
This project is in architectural design-preliminary plans, with a current expected completion date of 1 Q 2017.
Vital Statistics
Courtrooms: 4
Square footage: 47,680
Current authorized project budget: $47,605,000 
More information

In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.
The Superior Court of California, County of Imperial provides family and juvenile court functions in two facilities in El Centro: the Imperial County Courthouse and the Juvenile Courthouse. The separation of family, juvenile, and child support functions in two locations creates operational inefficiencies and is a detriment to the administration of justice.

The main courthouse is the historic Imperial County Courthouse, built in 1923. Three of its seven courtrooms are dedicated to family law and family support calendars.

The Juvenile Courthouse, constructed in 1976, is located adjacent to the county juvenile hall and county detention facility. This courthouse has one courtroom for both delinquency and dependency calendars and is severely undersized and functionally deficient. The Juvenile Courthouse is also occupied by several county agencies.

The proposed project would provide a new four-courtroom facility that will consolidate all family and juvenile court functions in one location. The new courthouse will consolidate three family court calendars from the Imperial County Courthouse and one juvenile court calendar from the Juvenile Court. The Imperial County Courthouse will continue to be used as the main criminal and civil courthouse after the new building is constructed.

The AOC is considering acquiring sites in an area near Wake Avenue, between South Clark Road and South Fourth Street, midway between the County Courthouse and Juvenile Hall. The project’s original feasibility report, published in 2008, identified a potential site adjacent to the existing juvenile court on land owned by the Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE).  However, that site lacked the necessary utility infrastructure (grading, storm drainage, sewer, fire hydrants, power, street improvements, traffic lights, landscaping, etc.). After investigating the cost of extending infrastructure to the site and lengthy discussions with the ICOE and Imperial County, the AOC and the court have decided to pursue other potential sites endorsed by the Project Advisory Group to prevent further delays in the project schedule and risks to the project budget. The AOC recently informed the ICOE and Imperial County of this decision.

Courthouse Reassessment

April 2012: Due to the current fiscal crisis, the project is being reassessed to determine the number of courtrooms needed. Once that is confirmed, the project scope will be revised and lower-cost construction methods will be explored. As we learn more, this project web page will be updated.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The AOC complied with CEQA by filing a categorical exemption for this project's preferred site on August 12, 2011.

Architecture/Engineering Firm

Safdie Rabines

Construction Manager at Risk

To be selected, current schedule is late 2011

Subcontractor bidding

Schedule TBD

New Releases
Two Sites Approved (3/11/11)
Potential Sites Selected (9/29/10)
Site finalized (11/10/11)

Historical Documents
Fact Sheet
Project Feasibility Report

Contact Info

Administrative Office of the Courts
Judicial Branch Capital Program Office

455 Golden Gate Avenue, 8th Floor
San Francisco, California

Customer Service Center:
888-225-3583 or
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