Justice has been served a new home in San Diego.
A dedication ceremony on June 5, 2017, heralded the arrival of the San Diego Central Courthouse, a 704,000-square-foot, 71-courtroom facility that consolidates San Diego County’s criminal trial, family, and civil courts into one 22-story tower.
WSP USA provided the mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP) engineering for the $555 million building, as well as built ecology services and technology systems on behalf of the architect and client, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The lead lighting designer for the project was Lilian Fu, WSP San Francisco lighting group leader. The building is owned and operated by the Judicial Council of California (JCC).
“Some of the existing courts will remain within the Hall of Justice across the street – a bridge above the street connects the two buildings,” said Amanda Brownlee, project manager for WSP. “Jury assembly and security will live within the new courthouse building. Jurors can use the bridge to walk to the existing Hall of Justice.”
Design work on the new courthouse began in July 2011, and construction started in December 2013. Work on the bridge connecting to the Hall of Justice began in February 2015, and in May, final construction work on the entire structure was completed. In July, court will be in session for the new building.
The limestone-faced tower is located on a 1.4-acre city block – a brownfield site at the intersection of Union and C streets in downtown San Diego. The courthouse, which was built by Rudolph and Sletten, Inc., includes a park and will feature landscaping with sidewalks, planter boxes and trees.
The project replaces the County Courthouse, the Family Courthouse, and the Madge Bradley Courthouse in downtown San Diego, which were determined to be unsafe, overcrowded and inadequate for modern court operations.