Groundbreaking for McK’s new U.S. Federal Courthouse

Breaking ground on the new federal courthouse in McKinleyville are, from left, Judge Nandor Vadas, Judge Charles Breyer, U.S. Marshal Donald O’Keefe, Airport Business Park owner Steve Moser, C&SD Construction President Steven Doctor and Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

Breaking ground on the new federal courthouse in McKinleyville are, from left, Judge Nandor Vadas, Judge Charles Breyer, U.S. Marshal Donald O’Keefe, Airport Business Park owner Steve Moser, C&SD Construction President Steven Doctor and Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

 

An enthusiastic crowd gathered Monday, July 8 for a ground breaking ceremony for a new U.S. Courthouse to be built at the Airport Business Park in McKinleyville.

The 22,853-square-foot federal courthouse, which should be completed in about 18 months, will have space for one courtroom and office space for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshal Service, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Probation Department and U.S. Magistrate Court.  Construction is scheduled to begin in September, with the project completed in fall of 2014, according to the developers.

The single-story building will be located at the south end of Boeing Avenue with U.S. Highway 101 and Lily Road just to the west. The business park includes views of the ocean to the west and forested hillsides to the east. The beauty of the location wasn’t lost upon the officials who attended Monday’s ceremony.

Judge Charles Breyer, Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, said he is the luckiest judge within his district. “This is a commanding view of nature,” Breyer said during the ceremony.

A courthouse, Breyer said, has enormous symbolism for a community. It’s a place where people go to discuss issues and, hopefully, resolve their differences. He noted that this was a special place.

Other speakers explained why the U.S. Courthouse needs to move to the new facility from its current location at Fifth and H streets in Eureka.

Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas said that the old courthouse isn’t earthquake resistant, nor does it comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The building, he said, contains lead paint and asbestos. Being that the structure is more than 100 years old, it would be cost prohibitive to retrofit the building, he said.

Instead, the Government Services Agency will lease the new courthouse for $1 million a year, which comes to about $27 per square foot. The lease is good for 20 years.

“The federal government is honored to be able to occupy this land for 20 years, hopefully more,” said Judge Breyer.

The Airport Business Park is owned by local developer Steve Moser. Following strict federal standards set by the GSA, C&SD Construction Inc. will build the new courthouse.

“This is clearly a significant project for the community,” said C&SD Construction President Steve Doctor.

“It’s a big deal and we’re proud to be part of it,” Doctor said.

When the courthouse is opened and the various office are fully staffed, about 29 people will work out of the building.

 

An artist rendering of the courthouse.

An artist rendering of the courthouse.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Groundbreaking for McK’s new U.S. Federal Courthouse

  1. Quoting from above: “This is clearly a significant project for the community,” said C&SD Construction President Steve Doctor.

    What community is this company from? I could not find them on the internet search.

  2. The story did not say how many holding cells there will be in this new building — one hopes that there will be some.

  3. Clearly no-one asked the neighbors how they felt – “enthusiastic” would not be among the adjectives I would use to describe our anticipation of the impacts on our open space and semi-rural lifestyles. Many dogwalkers, equestrians and others who enjoy the uncrowded tranquility of our area are less than enthused, I would venture. Considering that this our access to the Hammond Trail, I for one would have liked to see some consideration of siting the facility in a more urban setting.

    • Next to a dang airport?!?! A business park? A holiday inn? Ohhh so rural. Get over yourself.

  4. In fairness, the Airport Business Park was planned and developed for these types of uses. The idea is to have that entire area filled with various office buildings and light industrial businesses. We get to enjoy those big, empty fields today, but we shouldn’t expect them to stay that way. The business park was approved more than a decade ago.

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