The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners this week approved selecting a contractor to begin construction on a new courthouse.
The current courthouse, which was built in 1936, holds earthquake risks, safety concerns and delays justice for county residents. Fengate PCL Progress Partners (FP3) is the successful proposer to design, build, partially finance and maintain a new courthouse at the Clackamas County Red Soils Campus in Oregon City.
“We are finally at a place, where we can finally do it. I look forward to it,” Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith said about moving forward with replacing the courthouse. “We will right-size our government while still providing core services to pay for the increased costs.”
Construction of the courthouse is expected to be completed in 2025 and cost $313 million — a significant increase in price caused by inflation.
The Oregon State Legislature committed $94.5 million for the project in 2021 as part of a program to fund half the project’s cost, which was previously estimated at $189 million. Clackamas County will continue working with legislators to update the state commitment while the remaining funds will come from the county.
Commisioners said the board is committed to not raising taxes to pay for the new courthouse. Clackamas County will live within its means and make appropriate budget reductions to accommodate the debt service for the new courthouse.
Clackamas County and FP3 will enter a public-private partnership, with FP3 financing, designing, building and maintaining the new courthouse for 30 years. Clackamas County is the first in Oregon to use a public-private partnership to construct a courthouse.
Commissioners’ decision advances a county strategic priority of ensuring safe, healthy, and secure communities by identifying new and existing funds for the Courthouse Replacement Project before 2025.
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