The province’s first new courthouse in a decade is slated to open in Abbotsford in January 2021.
The Abbotsford Law Courts (ALC) – located at Trethewey Street and Veterans Way in the civic precinct – is expected to open to the public on Jan. 18, according to a notice posted on the website for the Courts of British Columbia.
The court is slated to begin hearing trials on Feb. 1, the notice states.
The new 180,000-square-foot four-storey ALC will house 14 courtrooms – eight provincial, three Supreme and three initial appearance/conference rooms.
In addition, the project includes a separate 336-stall parkade adjacent to the courthouse.
The facility plans also incorporate justice programs such as the BC Prosecution Service, Community Corrections and a Justice Access Centre.
Groundbreaking on the $152 million project took place in July 2018 to replace the aging leased courthouse on South Fraser Way, which was found to be infested by vermin and plagued by functional, overcrowding, security and safety issues, according to a 2014 report.
That building was constructed as a single-room courthouse in 1967 and has been renovated over the years to its current configuration of five provincial courtrooms and two initial appearance/conference rooms.
Plenary PLC Justice was selected as the project proponent to design, build, finance and maintain the new courthouse under a 30-year concession.
The project is being funded through a mix of public and private financing.
The new courthouse is expected to have the capacity to meet provincial and Supreme court demand in Abbotsford and the lower Fraser Valley through 2035.
But the project has been developed to meet future demands, with two of the conference rooms being designed for use as fully functioning courtrooms.
The ALC is on land leased to the Ministry of Citizens’ Services by the City of Abbotsford.