LONG BEACH (CNS) – Court officials hope long lines outside the Long Beach courthouse will be a thing of the past after the new Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse opens today.
Named for a native son of Long Beach, the Deukmejian Courthouse is designed with “a spacious, open entry and expanded weapons screening area which will be able to accommodate the public in much greater numbers, eliminating long lines outside,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles Superior Court administration office.
The $395 million structure is at 275 Magnolia Ave., between Broadway and Third Street in downtown Long Beach. It replaces the courthouse opened in 1958 on Ocean Boulevard, a structure that served a population that was less then half of the 650,000 inhabitants of Long Beach today.
The project was built by a private-public partnership, and includes space for five businesses. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Subway have already opened.
The building was erected by Clark Construction Group and came in on time and under budget, the court system reported.
About 110,000 people will enter the new Deukmejian Courthouse monthly, most through the new spacious atrium, but some through its high-security jail ports. The courthouse will handle everything from murder trials to traffic offenses, court officials said.
Smaller courthouses in San Pedro have been closed, and south L.A. County operations consolidated at Long Beach. The South District saw 162,895 cases filed in the last fiscal year, according to administrators.
Twenty-four courtrooms are in the new structure, and there is hollow space for more. Offices for the District Attorney, Public Defender, and Probation Department are inside.
The courthouse is named for Deukmejian, 85. A Republican, he rose through the California Legislature to a leadership position, then was elected as Attorney General. He served as California’s 35th governor from 1983-1991 and is now retired.