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SANTA ANA, CA-A new 52,000-sf courthouse for the Fourth Appellate District, Division Three State Court of Appeal that is under way here will consolidate all division offices into one building and is due for completion in May of 2009. Heery International, construction manager for the project on West Santa Ana Boulevard, reports that it recently topped out the building, which it notes is the first California courthouse to be built via the “CM at risk” model.

Under the CM at risk model, the customer can choose the construction firm on the basis of qualifications rather than low bid. The CM at risk model has been used for years in the private sector and is slowly becoming popular for public projects where construction managers can be chosen based on qualifications, rather than low bids.

Besides being the first courthouse built under the CM at risk arrangement, the new Santa Ana building is the first new construction project to be handled by the recently created administrative office of the courts. The Court of Appeal currently leases space in two locations, which are separated by more than a mile.

Designed by Carrier Johnson, the new three-story structure will house the appellate courtroom, judges’ chambers and administrative offices. The single location on West Santa Ana Boulevard is in the heart of a civic district that includes Santa Ana City Hall and the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse.

The courthouse is being built on land formerly owned by the City of Santa Ana for which the city and the court struck a deal In April 2005. As part of that deal, the city completed demolition and removal of a building on the site at its expense, razed the site to street level and completed construction of a parking structure directly adjacent to the parcel, which provides approximately 70 additional parking spaces for the court’s use.

Heery International is a 1,500-person program management, construction management, architecture, interior design and engineering firm with annual revenues of nearly $1.2 billion. The firm’s Southern California operations include offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Palm Desert, Riverside, San Diego and Tustin. The firm currently manages more than $1.5 billion worth of construction projects throughout Southern California.

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