Design firm is chosen

GLENDALE — State justice administrators have selected an award-winning architecture firm to design the new Glendale courthouse, but officials haven't determined its location.

After an extensive vetting process, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects was chosen because the firm best fit the city's push for sustainability, said Teresa Ruano, a spokesman for the Judicial Council of California's Administrative Office of the Courts.

"We are being a good neighbor, so we are trying to do that," she said.

The state council has been mum on the sites in Glendale under consideration, but city officials have said the current location on Broadway and a plot on Central Avenue and Lexington Avenue are both on the list.

The council has been working with eight cities in their respective courthouse projects to ensure the new facilities blend with their surroundings, Ruano said.

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, which has an office in Los Angeles, was chosen among a short list of six design companies vying to design the Glendale courthouse, she said. The firm has designed sustainability projects for Nintendo and several universities.

Officials said contract negotiations have not been finalized.

Construction costs for the 99,552-square-foot, three-story project are slated to come in at nearly $90 million, according to a report by the California's Administrative Office of the Courts.

The courthouse may be completed in 2015, according to the report.

The final location for the new courthouse is being discussed among city, county and state justice officials.

Officials from the Administrative Office of the Courts have held numerous meetings with county and city representatives in an effort to seek a resolution on the site, Ruano said.

"Among the options we continue to explore are reuse and reconfiguration of the existing site, for which we will need to undertake architect's feasibility studies after the architect placed under contract later this summer, as well as other sites both within and outside the Glendale redevelopment area," she said in an email.

Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa said he is hoping that state sticks with the current courthouse location on 600 E. Broadway to maintain a strong city center.

Keeping the courthouse at its current location would cut down on the costs of transporting prisoners from the jail, and help maintain a well-running remote video arraignment system, De Pompa said.

"All those things would be disrupted if it goes to an alternative site," he said.

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