In order to improve justice services in St. Thomas the provincial government decided to consolidate the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, which were operating in separate locations, into a new building on the site of the existing Elgin County Courthouse. The historic courthouse and former Land Registry Office was originally built in 1853 and rebuilt and expanded after a fire in 1898. The historic parts of the courthouse were extensively refurbished and restored as part of the project.
· Integrated Team Solutions (ITS) financed and constructed the new courthouse, only receiving payment from the Province at substantial completion, encouraging the private sector to complete the project on-time.
· The design allows for flexibility, so that courtrooms and settlement rooms could be used for either the Superior Court Justice or Ontario Court of proceedings.
· There is a potential bonus payment for ITS if energy consumption during the maintenance term is less than projected, while there is a reduction in payment if energy consumption exceeds initial projections.
· The new St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse is a multi-storey building including:
o Eight courtrooms and three conference/settlement rooms;
o Barrier-free design including providing barrier-free access to courtrooms, infrared hearing assistance and barrier-free witness stands, jury boxes and spectator positions in courtrooms to ensure equal participation (except within the existing heritage courtroom where spectator positions are limited by the existing design);
o Enhanced accommodation for interpretation including one jury room permanently equipped for simultaneous interpretation; and
o Extensive refurbishment of the Elgin County Courthouse and former Land Registry Office.
· Consolidating court services into a single location will benefit court users and the community by allowing for more effective use of resources.
· St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse continues to be publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. Court services will continue to be publicly funded and publicly administered.
· The courthouse meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard including a focus on energy efficiency and green housekeeping practices.
· The building was designed to permit for future expansions so the facility has the capacity to serve the region for the next thirty years and beyond.
· At the peak of construction 120 workers were on site daily.
· The project won the CCPPP Gold Award for Infrastructure (2014).
“Throughout the phases of the Elgin County Courthouse project, Infrastructure Ontario and ITS have been working together in the true spirit of partnership to deliver a state-of-the-art, consolidated courthouse facility that has achieved a demonstrated value for money to the taxpayers of Ontario. We believe that the citizens of Elgin County and the Province of Ontario will be proud of this facility for years to come.”
- Lou Serafini Jr., President and CEO of Fengate Capital Management Ltd.
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