A Look Inside the New Yolo County Courthouse

New Yolo County Courthouse by Fentress Architects

Woodland, California (October 1st, 2015) The new Yolo County Courthouse will be dedicated by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and staff of the Superior Court of Yolo County on Thursday, October 1st.  The courthouse opened for business a few weeks ago.  Hensel Phelps Construction Company and Fentress Architects, in association with Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects, were engaged for the project by the Judicial Council of California, which managed the project. Funded in 2009, the project reached construction in the spring of 2013 and was completed at the end of July 2015. The $161-million project consolidated the superior court’s operations, previously scattered among six inadequate, overcrowded buildings in Woodland, into one modern, secure, state-of-the-art facility, greatly enhancing access to justice for court users and operational efficiency for judges and staff.

New Yolo County Courthouse by Fentress Architects

The courthouse sits between Fifth and Sixth on Main Street.  Facing Main Street, the courthouse entrance has an iconic civic look. Light wells in the entry hall bring in natural light and create a welcoming atmosphere. The new 14-courtroom building meets all current seismic and safety requirements, greatly improves space and services for court users, and provides for future expansion.

“It would seem once every 100 years we in the court community get to build a new courthouse,” said Judge Dave Rosenberg, who pointed out the present courthouse was built “four score and 16 years ago” in 1917.  We truly love our historic courthouse on Court Street. It has served us reasonably well. But it was built five generations ago. We have outgrown that courthouse in almost every conceivable way.
Judge Dave Rosenberg

Fentress Architects worked closely with the Judicial Council of California, the Court Judges and staff, the project managers and the City of Woodland to ensure that everyone's needs were met. Fentress Architects concentrated on designing a building that is expressive of open and accessible government while representing the  dignity and  strength of the courts. The  design approach focused on creating a facility that is a landmark capable of lasting another 100 years while still being sustainable and functional. Fentress Architects achieved this by providing the best in architectural planning, design, and contemporary thought and by creating spaces that will be adaptable to future changes in judicial practice.

New Yolo County Courthouse by Fentress Architects

“Today’s milestone represents years of collaboration with clerks, judges, and law enforcement. The new consolidated courts complex will not only create an iconic structure for Woodland, but will also provide a more  efficient  government  that  best serves its county’s citizens,” said Curtis Fentress, Chairman and Principal in Charge of Design at Fentress Architects.

Fentress Architects is a global design firm that passionately pursues the creation of sustainable and iconic architecture. Together with its clients, Fentress creates inspired design to improve the human environment. The firm has designed $38 billion USD of architectural projects worldwide, visited by more than 450 million people each year.  Fentress is a dynamic learning organization driven to grow its ability to design, innovate, and exceed client expectations. The firm has been honored with more than 500 distinctions for design excellence and innovation.

Architect: Fentress Architects in association with Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects
Contractors: Hensel Phelps Construction Company
Size: 163,000 square feet, 14 courtrooms
Project Cost: $161 million
Completion: 7.31.2015
LEED: Slated for LEED Silver certification