County dedicates new courthouse

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The Superior Court of San Joaquin county held a dedication ceremony for the new Stockton Courthouse on Sept. 28. 

The $308 million new courthouse is located on 108 E. Weber Avenue, built on the original site of the courthouse from 1853.

The courthouse was long overdue as the old one was no longer the safest nor efficient courthouse it could have been. 

“The elevators would stop working regularly and with people in them,” said Presiding Judge Lesley Holland. 

The building was falling apart as some of the judges would mention. They would have leaking ceilings during the raining season and not only that but the environment was not safe. 

The courthouse had an old design that just didn’t work anymore. Attorneys, victims, inmates and people of the community would constantly pass each other without any separation. 

According to Hon. Holland there were attacks on attorneys and judges in the past. 

The project was completed in the summer of 2017 and opened on July 31.

The purpose of the new courthouse is to avoid the problems of the past and provide the community with a safer and efficient courthouse. The courthouse is 310,443-square feet and has 13 floors. 

During the dedication ceremony, the speakers explained the tasks that came from issues with funding of the project. The funding fluctuated and certain changes had to be made to the build of the structure.

“It was a monumental task,” said Hon. Robin Appeal, Chair of Court Facilities Committee.

When you’re walking up to the courthouse you will see Lady Liberty on the right-hand side standing over the “historical wall.”

The courthouses’ entrance is eye catching with an enormous tile mural of a satellite photo of San Joaquin county. 

The courthouse is also on the way of becoming all digital. 

With new systems and an all-digital directory wall where visitors will be able to find their way around easier than before. 

No longer will you have to go past the main entrance to pay parking tickets either. 

The design has “pay tickets” windows on the right-hand side upon entering to pay your parking tickets without ever having to enter the rest of the building. 

Every floor helps separate the functions of the courthouse as well as the judges’ chambers. 

The employees are also provided with ergonomic desks with the ability to turn into standing desks.

The employees have a “quiet room” allowing them to take a mental break for a more efficient, comfortable staff. 

The design also allows beautiful views of Stockton. 

“If you can’t take a tour, go to the 12th floor and look at the view of Stockton,” said Honorable Jose L. Alva, presiding judge. 

In 2018, the courthouse hopes to have a full staff for a children’s room located on the first floor. 

The Superior Court is open Monday– Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.