Failed inspection to delay new courthouse opening

san joaquin county courthouse
When it is finished, the new San Joaquin County Courthouse will be 13 stories, the tallest building in the county

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County courthouse’s grand opening will be delayed indefinitely. The new $273 million courthouse received poor marks from the Office of the State Fire Marshal this week.

The marshal conducted an inspection that found exits from the courtrooms were not up to standards. The failed inspection is expected to push the planned December opening for the new building back significantly. It will also add to the cost of the building.

The project was 80 percent completed when the inspection took place. How much this will delay the project and how much it will add to the cost has yet to be determined.

Plans for the new courthouse have been in the works since 2007 and construction plans had been submitted and approved numerous times since 2015. The approvals, however, were dependent on a field inspection.

The main problem cited was that entry corridors would not be able to withstand a fire for an hour. That time is required to give people a chance to evacuate and give first responders time to get in.

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