RED DEER, ALTA. — Officials have broken ground on a new justice centre for central Alberta.
The project will replace Red Deer’s current seven-room courthouse which was built more than 30 years ago when the population of Red Deer was half its current size. It is so full that Red Deer’s Traffic Court has been operating off-site at a local hotel since 2014.
Contractor Clark Builders will begin construction activities onsite in the coming weeks, with completion anticipated for spring 2023. The new facility was designed by Group2 Architecture and Interior Design, in conjunction with justice facility specialists DLR Group.
The new, approximately 29,000 square metre Red Deer Justice Centre will target LEED Silver standards.
The facility will increase the number of courtrooms to 12 with the potential to expand to 16 if needed. This includes an increase to the number of courtrooms serving provincial and Queen’s Bench courts. The building will also include drug treatment court and resolution services to provide dispute resolution, civil and family mediation, arbitration and other alternatives to court.
Government documents show the province anticipates the project will cost $97 million.
The project was first announced in 2017. This May, the province announced its commitment to getting the project built in five years.
According to the city, this decision came following longstanding city council and community advocacy efforts that zeroed in on the widespread community impacts of crime, and the need for changes to the system, ensuring timely justice for families in crisis and victims of crime.