Doors Open for Business at Yuma’s New Federal Courthouse
Sustainable courthouse honors Judge Roll, supports increased caseload
December 12, 2013
YUMA, Ariz. – The U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona are pleased to announce the opening of the John M. Roll United States Courthouse on Monday, December 16, 2013. The courthouse, located at 98 West 1st Street, Yuma, Arizona, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, excluding court observed holidays.
The Yuma courthouse, named in honor of the late U.S. District Chief Judge John M. Roll, received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was designed as a sustainable and energy-efficient federal building and is expected to receive a 'Gold' rating from the U.S. Green Buildings Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
The 56,800-square-foot facility, which includes two courtrooms, two judges’ chambers and jury facilities, will house the U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Probation, U.S. Pretrial Services, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The courthouse will use state-of-the-art audio-visual technologies in the courtrooms and sustainable energy-efficient technologies throughout the building.
“I am especially proud that our newest courthouse reflects GSA’s commitment to sustainable design and engineering principles,” said GSA’s Regional Administrator Ruth Cox. “Just as important, this new courthouse fills a critical need in Yuma. It not only provides the capacity to meet the U.S. District Court’s burgeoning caseload, but also addresses security guidelines that have evolved over the years.”
The design by Ehrlich Architects underscores community engagement by way of a “front porch” for the public that was created using an expansive photovoltaic canopy. The canopy (together with solar thermal collectors) will provide an estimated 26,000 annual kWh – over 25 percent of the building’s energy load – and will also provide a shaded gathering place for employees, visitors and the greater community.
This exterior scene includes a significant public art installation by John Bisbee, entitled Lion Dandies. The metal orb sculpture made completely from iron railroad nails was designed to reflect Yuma’s historic ties to the railroad. A bronze bust honoring the late Judge Roll, created by Arizona artist Nicholas Burke, will be on display inside the two-story public lobby.
“The opening of the John M. Roll United States Courthouse is a significant and long-awaited event for both the community and the federal judiciary,” said Chief Judge Raner C. Collins. “The courthouse design and construction documents were signed by then Chief Judge Roll shortly before his tragic and untimely death in January 2011. In recognition of Judge Roll’s dedication in ensuring this project came to fruition, the courthouse is appropriately named in his honor. We are very pleased that it will offer litigants a contemporary and dignified legacy building in which to pursue justice. Courthouses often represent cornerstones of our proud democracy and it is our belief this magnificent and functional structure will become a significant landmark in the Yuma community for generations to come.”
United States Magistrate Judge James F. Metcalf added, “Chief Judge John Roll was the champion and leading force behind the Yuma federal courthouse project. He understood the importance of a new facility to meet the need of greatly increased criminal case filings in this border region. This courthouse is a fitting tribute to the memory of Judge Roll, and the building will serve as a lasting reminder of his tireless efforts on behalf of this district and of America’s system of justice.”
The John M. Roll United States Courthouse is prominently located along the river, and within sight of the old Territorial Prison, the mission church at Fort Yuma and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. The site also enjoys close proximity to all of Yuma’s major state and local governmental buildings.