South County Justice Center
Features & Highlights
- LEED Silver®
- Walk-up windows allow for public use without having to enter the building and pass through security.
The 96,500-square-foot South County Justice Center (also known as Porterville Courthouse) addressed a number of community priorities. It is architecturally significant, secure, and able to meet the evolving needs of the area’s growing population. Sundt helped to ensure the facility was affordable to construct as well as maintain and operate over its lifecycle. It has sophisticated security, audio-visual and transaction systems that allow it to be monitored and controlled remotely, thereby eliminating the need for on-site maintenance staff.
The new justice center includes nine courtrooms, judges’ chambers, jury deliberation rooms, support services, clerk offices and work areas, public walk-up windows and queuing areas, a detainee holding area and sally port. The courthouse replaced two outdated buildings in Porterville, California.
Installing the security and AV systems and enabling them to interface with each other was a major project challenge. The project was one of the first new courthouses in California equipped with an AV system that allowed it to be monitored offsite via a statewide communication network. Weekly meetings with the information technology vendor and detailed planning ensured the technology systems were successfully installed and commissioning performed prior to the project’s substantial completion date.
The courthouse’s environmental impact is reduced through the use of low-water-use fixtures and landscaping, green roofs, photovoltaic solar panels and several locally sourced and renewable materials. A number of efficient systems reduce the energy and water use of this LEED Silver® facility, thereby reducing the environmental impact while ensuring lasting affordability.
Awards & Accolades
2015 American Architecture Award