Clackamas County Receives $31.5M in State Funds to Design New Courthouse

The Oregon Legislature passed a bill this weekend authorizing $31.5 million in state funding toward a new Clackamas County Courthouse.

Securing the funding was the county’s top priority during the 2019 state legislative session, according to Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard.

“Clackamas County desperately needs a new courthouse that meets the needs of our growing population,” he said. “It’s a win for our residents, businesses, and our infrastructure.”

The county is seeking a total of approximately $95 million from the state of Oregon toward construction of a larger modern courthouse to be located on the Red Soils campus in Oregon City. The existing county courthouse, on Main Street in Oregon City, was built in the 1930s, when the population of the county was just over 50,000. The population today is more than 415,000.

The county says the building does not have enough courtrooms to effectively administer justice for the county’s growing population. It is also poorly designed and overcrowded, forcing crime victims and perpetrators together in hallways when they come to court.

This state funding will support design and other prep work for the new courthouse. It represents the second round of state funds after the county secured $1.2 million for planning in the 2017 legislative session.

The total courthouse project cost is estimated at $230 million, of which the county will be responsible for approximately $135 million. The state will be asked to provide its final round of funding in the 2021 legislative session, contingent upon Clackamas County securing its share of the project.

County officials are currently exploring various local funding options, which may include a voter-approved bond measure. For more on the courthouse project, visit https://www.clackamas.us/courthouse.

Photo by Another Believer. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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