Court House Moves Forward Another Step

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THUNDER BAY – Some feel that it will revitalize the downtown Fort William core. Yet others feel that the new court house will remove needed parking and hamper retail services in the district.

The Ministry of the Attorney General and Infrastructure Ontario announced that Plenary Justice is the preferred proponent selected to design, build, finance and maintain the new Thunder Bay Consolidated Courthouse.  As the preferred proponent, Plenary Justice is in the process of negotiating a final contract with the Ministry of the Attorney General and Infrastructure Ontario.

The future courthouse will consolidate Thunder Bay’s two existing courthouses: the courts of the Superior Court of Justice, which are located on Camelot Street, and the courts of the Ontario Court of Justice, which are on East Arthur Street. The new courthouse, to be located in Thunder Bay’s downtown south core, will improve access to justice in the city by consolidating the services of the existing courthouses within one modern facility, increasing the number of courtrooms available, providing better public access and security, and improving health and safety standards.

Highlights of the Thunder Bay Consolidated Courthouse include:

  • a new multi-storey building with space to accommodate 15 courtrooms and four conference/settlement suites;
  • a commitment by the government to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard, which focuses on energy efficiency, healthy indoor environments and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The selection of Plenary Justice is the result of an extensive evaluation process, which followed a request for proposals process that began in September 2009.  The Plenary Justice team includes Plenary Group, Bird Design – Build Ltd., Johnson Controls LP, Adamson Associates Architects, Ricci Green Associates and TD Securities.

Financing for the Thunder Bay Consolidated Courthouse is being provided by TD Bank, Ontario Pension Board, Bimcor, Manulife and Canada Life. Equity is being provided by Plenary Group.

“We are now closer than ever to seeing construction begin on our new courthouse,” said Hon. Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North. “The McGuinty government is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support the continued population and caseload growth in Thunder Bay.”

“Our new Consolidated Courthouse will enhance the administration of justice in Thunder Bay,” said Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan. “Significant construction job creation and downtown south core rejuvenation will also occur. This building is another example of our commitment to justice issues, which includes new OPP buildings and funding for municipal police officers.”

Following successful negotiations with Plenary Group, the project is expected to reach commercial and financial close in November 2010, which will mean that relevant contracts have been signed, a financing rate has been set, the project’s cost are finalized, and funds have been made available for the project.

Project costs will be announced publicly following financial close of the project. Construction is expected to begin shortly after in winter 2010-11.

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