Lane County Courthouse

Lane County’s Courthouse is in need of replacement, and the County is likely to ask voters to consider a bond measure for partial funding. Before it goes to voters for a decision, the County wants to be certain that all residents understand the situation and have the information they need in order to make an informed decision.

 



Lane County Courthouse - Make Space for Justice from Lane County Government on Vimeo.



About the Courthouse
The Courthouse is home to the Circuit Court, District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and Victim Services. Since it was built 60 years ago, the population it serves has more than doubled, and projections indicate that growth will continue. The building’s physical systems are failing, and the building is not able to support the heavy use it receives.

 

Studies of the current building have documented safety and functionality issues. The design of the building fails to ensure the safety of patrons in a number of ways. Among the most significant issues are the daily security risks posed by inmates sharing the same elevators or corridors with judges, staff and the public. Upgrades to address other issues, including HVAC and electrical failures, are either infeasible due to the limited confines of the building or prohibitively expensive given the building’s current condition.

 

Although the Courthouse is used by 600 people each day, most residents have had no call to visit this building or to experience its limitations. In the coming months, the County will offer site tours for those who are interested in learning more about the building and who it serves. 


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 Facility Needs Audit

To fully and independently assess the Courthouse’s performance and needs for the future, the County commissioned an audit of the building. The audit revealed some of the limitations that were expected, such as accessibility and the need for functional heating and cooling systems. It also identified significant privacy, security and efficiency shortcomings.

 

New Location

Combined with past and projected growth, the most cost-effective solution is to build a new Courthouse. Because of the space required, a larger footprint is needed. The new site of the Courthouse would be on the block to the east of the County’s Public Service Building, on the former site of the City Hall. The County and City have agreed on a land swap that would make this possible.

 

The land swap became more complicated than anticipated when two deeds for the same property surfaced in a records search. Work is underway to clarify the original intent of the landowner and to ensure there are no restrictions on the deed. Details of the Property Deed discussion are available online.