At its December 13, 2011 meeting, the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a new lease agreement with WDCI, Inc. for the Sparks Justice Court to occupy a 28,136 square foot space at 1675 Prater Way. The new location provides twice the space of the current location at 630 Greenbrae and allows for a third court, improved security, alternative transportation, and will meet requirements of the American Disability Act. There is a one-time project cost of $3,000,000, funded using dedicated capital project funds and court administrative assessments. The estimated opening for the new court is January 1, 2013.
This is part of a long term effort to improve the Sparks Court facilities to accommodate a third court and an increased case load. “Sparks Justice Court has seen an increase in the number of sophisticated and violent crimes,” noted Sparks Justice Court Judge Kevin Higgins. “After nearly 20 years in our ‘temporary’ courthouse we look forward to changing our accommodations to improve security for our employees, victims and clientele.”
The new facilities will accommodate three full size courts, a small versatile hearing room, separated internal circulation, a secure entrance and access to public transportation. Among other amenities, the new location will provide for additional holding cells to separate inmates, victims, and family members to improve both employee and public safety. The accommodations were identified as necessary improvements in the 2002 joint courts master plan study, which recommended a new Justice Court be designed and built. The Sparks Justice Court currently leases 12,239 square feet at 630 Greenbrae. The current lease will expire in February of 2013.