$6.5 million county court renovation begins

Work started yesterday on a $6.5 million first-phase project to remodel the County-City Building’s third and fourth floors that served as Tacoma Police Department headquarters until TPD’s recent move to new quarters on South Pine Street.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in April 2007, will provide space for five new Superior Court courtrooms, Superior Court Administration offices and the Tacoma City Attorney’s Office. In the 2nd floor lobby, the court security monitoring station will be expanded and the information counter removed.

Superior court will vacate a portion of the 5th floor after phase 1 is complete and the remainder following phase 2. Eventually, following completion of phase 3, District Court will occupy the 5th floor space now used by Superior Court. Four phases are planned with project completion scheduled in mid 2009.

Pease Construction Inc., general contractor, will be mobilizing its work force and equipment and setting up construction offices and staging/storage areas. Demolition work is scheduled to start Monday, March 27.

The contractor staging area will be in the southwest corner of the Sheriff’s Tacoma Avenue parking lot and in the adjacent planting area at the base of the B wing tower. This area will be fenced and will enclose a stair/scaffolding structure, debris chute, and debris bin. Employees and members of the public will be prevented from entering the staging area and are requested to exercise caution when walking adjacent to the staging area, which will be used by delivery trucks and other equipment.

Access to floors 3 and 4 from stairwells and elevators will be locked off to county employees and visitors to the building. Elevator key switches and blank buttons have been installed for floors 3 and 4.

Future work includes converting city attorney offices in 2nd floor C wing to Superior Court presiding judge courtroom and two arraignment courtrooms in phase 2, converting Superior Court arraignment courtrooms and administrative space on the 5th floor east end to three District Court jury courtrooms in phase 3, and converting District Court courtrooms on the 9th floor west end to Prosecuting Attorney offices.