What is Maricopa getting for its buck with its new courts building?
Renderings were unveiled at the city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting this week of a sleek, modernistic exterior of the 6,300-square foot facility next to City Hall, where Municipal Court business is being conducted while the new building is under construction.
P&Z gave a thumbs-up to the new courthouse site, elevation and landscape plans, with minor tweaks. The most obvious is that exterior signage will read “City of Maricopa” instead of “Maricopa.”
DFDG Architecture in its project narrative stated the new building is designed to be compatible with the style of the existing city government campus, with exterior materials that may include exposed concrete, integral color masonry, glass storefront systems and metal wall panels.
The building will feature metal-stud framed walls with gypsum-board cladding and a steel-framed roof structure.
The entryway will be reminiscent of the metal canopies at the entry to City Hall, the current police station and library.
According to a staff report, the landscape design will be consistent with City Hall.
The city said construction will take 12 to 15 months.
There is about $2.7 million budgeted for this fiscal year to cover preliminary costs, such as design and construction of infrastructure, site improvements and building foundation, according to the city. The remainder of the project, including the construction of the building, furniture, fixtures, technology, audio/visual equipment, cameras, access control, security equipment etc., is recommended to be funded out of the fiscal year 2024 budget.
“I want to make it very clear that will be paid by new development, not existing taxpayers,” City Manager Rick Horst said. “It will be 100 percent based on new development coming here. With those growth needs, they should be paid by the people causing the growth and not the people who are already here.”
The new court building was designed with expansion in mind, as with other city facilities. Plumbing, electrical and other utility stub-outs will make expansion easier when the time comes.
Municipal Court is a stand-alone trial court with limited jurisdiction that works within the Arizona court system. It adjudicates misdemeanors, petty offenses and civil violations, including traffic and city-ordinance violations. It is established as a separate, independent branch of city government with a municipal judge, Stephen McCarville, appointed by the City Council.
Maricopa last year decided to hire a new judge and build its own courthouse on the northeastern corner of West Bowlin Road and North White and Parker Road. It had shared a building and a judge with the county Justice of the Peace.