Placer County

Estimated cost at $99 million

AUBURN, Calif. – The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan for a new Health and Human Services facility, crime lab and Tahoe Justice Center.

The board earlier this year designated the projects as top priorities and directed staff to create a financing plan to fund development.

The total net cost for the three projects is estimated at $99 million.

The HHS facility could break ground in fiscal year 2020-2021, while more substantial work remains before the crime lab and Tahoe Justice Center are ready to construct. Construction of the crime lab and justice center is anticipated to begin in fiscal year 2024-2025 or earlier if possible.

“We are in an envious position because we [Placer County Board of Supervisors] get to build new facilities to provide excellent service to our residents when other jurisdictions are having trouble keeping their lights on,” said Board Chair and District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler. “We are fortunate to have a strong local economy, fiscally conservative history and opportunity to take advantage of low interest rates.”

The new HHS facility is included in the county’s recently-updated master plan for Placer County Government Center and would help consolidate existing staff and services in a 136,000-square-foot facility in North Auburn. The “one-stop” service center for the Auburn and foothills area would improve public access to HHS services while providing appropriately designed and programmed spaces to deliver services for a variety of needs.

The facility would also include a solar photovoltaic system, making it less costly to operate than the World War II-era facilities currently used by staff.

The crime lab is part of the 2015 Criminal Justice Master Plan. The 30,000-square-foot crime lab is envisioned to be operated under a partnership between the county and the California State University system and would streamline and improve the investigation, prosecution and resolution of crimes. It could also be used by CSU as a teaching facility.

The Tahoe Justice Center would replace the Burton Creek Substation, which was built in 1959 to support the needs of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office during the first winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley in 1960. The current facility is outdated and undersized.

A new 45,000-50,000-square-foot facility would accommodate the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department, District Attorney, public defender and courts.