OREGON CITY, Oregon (Feb. 3, 2023) – Members of the Oregon Supreme Court, Clackamas County Circuit Court, Oregon State Legislature, Clackamas County Commission, and Clackamas Progress Partners (including PCL Construction and Fengate Asset Management) celebrated the groundbreaking of a replacement courthouse in Clackamas County Feb. 3, 2023.
The original courthouse in downtown Oregon City, built in 1936 when the county only had 50,000 residents, is functionally obsolete and can no longer serve the needs of the county’s 420,000+ residents.
“This effort started more than 30 years ago,” said Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith. “With the help of our state partners and the good fiscal management at the county, we are able to do this project without requiring any new taxes.”
Construction of the replacement courthouse is scheduled for completion in 2025.
“We are excited to be on the front end of this Public-Private Partnership (P3) model,” said Tyler Kautz, PCL’s Pacific Northwest district manager. Clackamas County Courthouse will be the first county courthouse in Oregon’s history to be delivered through a P3. “PCL has extensive experience building P3 projects across North America and we look forward to building one of the first in the Pacific Northwest for Clackamas County.”
Many bipartisan members of the Oregon State Legislature support the county’s efforts to complete the project.
“This process is the fruit of our labor, and our coming together,” stated Sen. Mark Meek. “We all have representing and working for the people of Clackamas County in common.”
Innovative project model leads to most cost-effective, low risk option for county and state
Clackamas Progress Partners, a consortium of organizations involved in more than 40 successful courthouse construction projects worldwide, will design, construct and maintain the replacement courthouse.
This partnership was the result of the county’s comprehensive analyses of alternatives that led to the most cost-effective, lowest-risk option for the county and state.
When the replacement courthouse is completed, it will mark the first time in Oregon state history that a courthouse building is delivered through a public-private partnership.
“The team we have assembled for this project are the best in their fields,” stated Clackamas Progress Partners’ Karl Schaefer.
Background on replacement courthouse
The current county courthouse has significant safety concerns and structural risks. Soil tests revealed the ground under the building could liquefy during an earthquake, as the courthouse sits just three feet from the Willamette River.
The courthouse construction will provide a big boost for our local economy and not require any new taxes. It will create hundreds of local jobs with competitive wages, and provide opportunities for local labor and businesses.
Clackamas Progress Partners are committed to hiring local disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned and service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses.
This project also supports the county’s goal to be carbon neutral in operations by 2050, and complies with the Oregon Green Energy Technology program. Design selections made by Clackamas Progress Partners in collaboration with Clackamas County focus on operations, security, technology, and sustainability. Best-practices in use of materials, systems and energy efficiency are embedded within the design to attain LEED Version 4.1 Gold Certification, which is the next generation standard for green building design, construction, operations and performance.
The courthouse project is participating in the Oregon Green Energy Technology in Public Buildings program, which will include technology to produce at least 25% of the building energy onsite. The use of mass timber adds to the county’s sustainability commitment and will bring an immediate connection to Oregon as community members enter the courthouse.
About PCL Construction
PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in more than 30 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion USD, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Watch us build at www.pcl.com.