Ada County Courthouse
Ada County Courthouse
200 W. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702
In 1990, the Ada County Commissioners purchased 14.5 acres of prime commercial real estate in Boise's downtown core (3rd and Front Streets) for the purpose of building a new courthouse. At that time, the county's courthouse, located at 514 W. Jefferson Street in downtown Boise, was built more than 60 years earlier.
In 1994, the county developed a plan to include a new consolidated courthouse and administration building inside a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly mall concept in order to maximize the commercial value of the site and generate revenue to help offset much of the cost of the county building.
In 1995, the commissioners solicited proposals from development groups, and in 1996 an eleven-member panel appointed by the commissioners recommended awarding the project to a team headed by Civic Partners of Costa Mesa, California. Shortly after the selection, almost three-fourths of Ada County voters approved the concept on a primary election advisory ballot.
No new taxes have been or will be assessed to pay for this facility. The project is the result of the largest public-private partnership in the history of Idaho. The financing mechanism is complicated, but the county is never obligated for more than one year at a time. Revenue bonds were sold, and the county will pay off those bonds annually within 30 years. The land (14.5 acres) was owned free and clear by the county prior to the beginning of construction.
Groundbreaking for the new facility took place on January 20, 2000. Completion of the construction and completion of the move for all offices occurred in February of 2002.
Prior to moving into the current facility, we had 19 courtrooms available for use in three different locations throughout the county. We also had seven jury deliberation rooms in two locations. The courthouse now provides 27 courtrooms and nine jury deliberation rooms which are located on the second, fourth, and fifth floors, plus two fifth-floor hearing rooms. The hearing rooms are designed to be used for proceedings such as motion hearings which do not require a jury or a large audience. The entire building is approximately 325,000 square feet, with five floors and a basement.
Many, but not all, county offices are located in the courthouse. Included are the following NON-COURT offices:
- First Floor: Auditor; Payroll; Public Defender; Recorder; Treasurer;
- Second Floor: Administration (including Communications, Human Resources,Purchasing, Risk Management); Development Services (including Planning & Zoning);
- Third Floor: Commissioners; Information Technology; Prosecuting Attorney
With the exception of Juvenile Court, all court functions are located in the courthouse, including:
- First Floor: Clerk's Office (administrative support; court files); Court Assistance;
- Second Floor: All Traffic Court and Magistrate Criminal Court courtrooms, Magistrate Judges' offices and their clerks; District Court court reporters and law clerks; Drug Court Coordinator;
- Third Floor: Guardianship Monitoring Program Administrator and volunteers;
- Fourth Floor: All Magistrate Family, Civil, Probate, and Small Claims courtrooms, Magistrate Judges' offices and their clerks; Trial Court Administrator, Assistant Trial Court Administrator, and staff; Family Court Services; Jury Commissioner; Marshal's main office; Mental Health Court; Small Claims Mediation Coordinator and volunteers; Transcripts Coordinator;
- Fifth Floor: All District Court courtrooms, district judges' offices and their clerks; legal secretaries;
- Basement: The basement has a secured access gate which is used by the Sheriff's Office to load and unload prisoners. There is a large holding facility for prisoners in the basement, and prisoners are transported to the courtroom floors through a prisoner elevator which is not used by the public or court staff.