Verdict’s in on north county courthouse

The Meriam Park project is slated to get started in 2013

On Monday (Oct. 24), four Butte County Superior Court judges and a dozen attorneys joined a few local government officials in the Chico City Council chambers for an update on the new courthouse slated for the Meriam Park development in east Chico.

There are still no buildings on the New Urban Builders project that was approved in 2008, but recently installed streets and streetlights pave the way for the five-courtroom, 67,000-square-foot structure’s estimated $83.4 million construction. The project is one of 41 new state courthouses to be financed by the passage of SB 1407 in 2008. Construction is slated to begin in 2013.

The state views the courthouse as high-priority for several reasons: The courthouse in Paradise is now closed; Chico’s existing courthouse is undersized; and up to 70 percent of Butte’s population lives in the north county. Meriam Park developer Tom DiGiovanni said he believes that courthouse construction will trigger the build-out of the 200-acre project, which sits just west of Bruce Road at East 20th Street.