Supply and Services / Justice and Consumer Affairs

Province moves forward on plans for new Saint John courthouse (09/01/30)

NB 91

Jan. 30, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - A request for expression of interest from the private sector for construction of the new, state-of-the-art courthouse in Saint John has been issued by the province, Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty announced today.

"We are seeking private developers capable of building, owning, operating and maintaining the Saint John courthouse, which will be leased back to the province," said Doherty. "By engaging the private sector in this important project, we are ensuring the best value for money for the taxpayers of New Brunswick, and creating opportunities for developers."

The request for expression of interest is being advertised on the New Brunswick Opportunities Network and in provincial newspapers, beginning today. Submissions will be received by Supply and Services until March 6. These will be evaluated by the department before a second-stage request for proposals is issued to selected proponents, from which a private-sector partner will be identified to build the courthouse.

"I am pleased that we are moving forward in our goal of bringing a modern, accessible and more secure courthouse to serve the City of Saint John and southern New Brunswick," said Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister and Attorney General T.J. Burke. "A single, spacious facility designed to house all court activities will be of tremendous benefit to our staff, the judiciary and the general public."

"Saint John identified the need for a new courthouse facility a number of years ago, and government is making it a reality," said Doherty. "We have been working closely with the city and its new police headquarters to ensure that this development enhances the visual appeal and development potential of uptown Saint John. Saint John's economy is flourishing, and I'm confident that this new justice building will accelerate the growing excitement and revitalization of uptown Saint John, for the betterment of all New Brunswickers."

The new courthouse will be about 13,536 sq. metres (150,400 sq. ft.) in size. It will be modern and energy efficient, with 13 courtrooms and a barristers' loungee, as well as office space for the judiciary, court services, public prosecutions, sheriff services, public safety and policing.

The courthouse will be built on the former YMCA property on Hazen Avenue in the downtown area. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2009, with completion by early 2011.

09/01/30

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sharon Jones, communications, Department of Supply and Services, 506-457-7903; Elaine Bell, director of communications, Department of Justice and Consumer Affairs, 506-453-6543.

09/01/30