A letter in Friday’s Tribune from the Honorable Charles Wieland, Madera County Superior Court judge, reminded us of how long it takes for significant public projects to be built. He pointed out that he first began lobbying for a new courthouse some 15 years ago, and that it may take another 12 months for it to be completed.
If you go to 6th Street, across from the Courthouse Museum, you might think the new building is going up quickly — and it is. Surely, it couldn’t take another year. But it might. By Madera standards, it is huge project.
Here are some of the statistics, in case you’ve forgotten them:
- Number of courtrooms: 10 (with each courtroom having support areas of other rooms and offices.) Plus, there will be many public areas within the new courthouse and a nearby multistory parking facility.
- Square footage: 115,804 square feet.
- Budget: $100.2 million.
The siting of the courthouse in its downtown location, where it will be the dominant structure, took a long time. A lot of pressure was put on the locals to build it near the sheriff’s offices on Road 28.
Thank goodness the judges and others resisted, and thank goodness they had the money and expertise of the Madera Redevelopment Agency to do the heavy lifting that was necessary to acquire the 6th Street properties.
The architects, AC Martin, have conceived a building unlike any other in Madera. It will be so impressive that people may get themselves arrested just to be able to go in there and be tried.
To get a building like this has required determination, foresight, a great deal of patience and more than a little leadership.