Tyler Olsen – Abbotsford News
The B.C. government announced Monday evening that it had signed off on the construction of a new 14-room $150 million courthouse to replace the current facility in Abbotsford, which six years ago was deemed to have “very serious functional, overcrowding, security and safety issues.”
Construction on the new facility, which will be located in the civic precinct near the Clearbrook Library, will begin in 2018, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said. The facility is expected to open in 2021.
Unlike the present courthouse, which has only courtrooms for Provincial Court, the new building will include three courtrooms for Supreme Court. It will also have eight provincial courtrooms and three judicial conference rooms.
Mayor Henry Braun said that when complete, the courthouse will employ around 200 people, compared to the 70 or so who work at the current facility.
Previous reports had suggested that the current courthouse is plagued with problems. A 2014 report suggested the construction of a 14-room courthouse. That report estimated that such a facility would cost $63 million.