The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus The Daily Herald on Linked In HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions
Herald staff | needtoknow@heraldnet.com
Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Snohomish County's flawed courthouse

The building is a barely functional hodge-podge and possibly unsafe

  • The main Snohomish County Courthouse Building as seen from the Robert J. Drewel Building, with the Mission Building at far left.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    The main Snohomish County Courthouse Building as seen from the Robert J. Drewel Building, with the Mission Building at far left.

  • The Mission Building, part of the Snohomish County Courthouse complex.

    Michael O'Leary / The Herald

    The Mission Building, part of the Snohomish County Courthouse complex.

  • The main entrance of the Snohomish County Courthouse.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    The main entrance of the Snohomish County Courthouse.

There's renewed talk of rebuilding Snohomish County's 45-year-old courthouse. It's old, it's ugly and, in some eyes, undignified. More to the point, the concrete box of a building might be dangerous. Safety concerns include the lack of separation of the public from in-custody prisoners, asbestos and ability to withstand an earthquake.

Courthouse usage

• 1,500 people pass through security on an average work day.
• 652 trials per year.

Problems identified

• Too small for current operations.
• Not wired for new technology, including video presentation of evidence.
• Multistory concrete facades at risk during an earthquake.
• Presence of asbestos.
• Outdated heating and ventilation.
• Impossible to keep public, staff, judges separated from inmates.
• Difficult access for people with physical disabilities.

Remedies

A 2008 study explored building a new $163 million justice center, but the idea lacked political support. The proposal assumed a need for twice as much space, with a 10-story addition to the courthouse complex and renovations to existing buildings. As part of the 2012 budget, the County Council has tasked County Executive Aaron Reardon and Superior Court Presiding Judge Michael Downes with taking another look. Their report is due July 1.

Courthouse Building

• Built in 1967
• 116,121 square feet
• 218 workers Includes main public entrance; 16 courtrooms for Snohomish County Superior Court; Everett District Court offices and three courtrooms; Snohomish County Sheriff's Office headquarters.

Mission Building

• Built in 1910
• 49,107 square feet
• 112 workers Replaced an 1897 courthouse at the same site, which had burned. Has two courtrooms for Snohomish County Superior Court; County Clerk's office; Prosecuting Attorney headquarters. Additions in 1952 and 1964. Renovated in 1980.


Story tags » EverettSnohomish County government

Subscribe to Daily headlines
See sample | Privacy policy

Most recent Need to Know posts

No recent blog posts for the past 180 days.
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...
HeraldNet Classifieds

HeraldNet highlights

Crow magnum
Crow magnum: As thousands darken the sky, researchers descend on Bothell
A revolution for its time
A revolution for its time: Boeing 247 makes final flight to Seattle museum (gallery, video)
From NYPD to SCSO
From NYPD to SCSO: A New York cop opts for life in a slower lane, in Sultan
Unpaid caregivers
Unpaid caregivers: There's support for the thousands who look after a loved one