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New building is expected to be completed in 2025 and cost $313 million - a significant increase over earlier $189 million estimate.

On Wednesday, June 29, Clackamas County commissioners approved selecting a contractor to begin construction of a new courthouse.

Fengate PCL Progress Partners (FP3) was the successful bidder to design, build, partially finance and maintain a new courthouse at the Clackamas County Red Soils Campus in Oregon City.PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Built in 1936, the current courthouse in Oregon City poses earthquake risks and safety concerns and delays justice for county residents, officials said.

"We are finally at a place, where we can finally do it. I look forward to it," said board Chair Tootie Smith about moving forward with replacing the courthouse. "We will right-size our government while still providing core services to pay for the increased costs."

Construction of the courthouse is expected to be completed in 2025 and cost $313 million, a significant increase in the $189 million estimate from last year, which county officials said was caused by inflation.

The Oregon Legislature committed $94.5 million for the project in 2021 as part of a program to fund half of the previously estimated project cost. Clackamas County officials hope to work with legislators to "update the state commitment" to reflect half of the cost increases, while the remaining funds will come from the county.

County board members are committed to not raise taxes to pay for the new courthouse. Clackamas County officials said that the elected commission "will live within its means" and make appropriate budget reductions to accommodate the debt service for the new courthouse.

Clackamas County and FP3 will enter a public-private partnership. FP3 will finance, design, build and maintain the new courthouse for 30 years. Clackamas County is the first in Oregon to use a public-private partnership to construct a courthouse.

Construction of the new courthouse is slated at the county's Red Soils campus up the hill from the current courthouse in downtown Oregon City.

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