Ground has been broken for a $33.5 million expansion of the Surrey Courthouse, British Columbia’s busiest provincial court location.
The total project budget of $33.5 million includes $27 million in construction costs. The remainder accounts for design fees (architectural, mechanical, electrical and security) as well as furniture, fittings and municipal fees.
Scheduled for completion by 2018, the Surrey Courthouse expansion will add three courtrooms and two hearing rooms to the existing 14 courtrooms. The provincial courthouse will also feature a wheelchair accessible witness box and jury box and technology that can reduce the length and cost of trials through advanced evidence presentation and touch-screen capabilities. Through a teleconference system the facility will allow for remote appearance of participants.
“We are committed to increasing court capacity to enhance access to justice in British Columbia and in the fast-growing Lower Fraser Valley region. The commitment to expand the Surrey courthouse complements our announced increase in Crown prosecutors, who will be dedicated to prioritizing offenders with links to guns and gangs,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Surrey’s courthouse has the largest criminal caseload in the province. Four out of every five new cases opened are in criminal court. Surrey’s courthouse also has the second-highest volume of provincial civil small claims cases.