It is my pleasure to congratulate the people of Kern County on the recent official opening of the much-needed federal courthouse in downtown Bakersfield. The new 33,000-square-foot courthouse, which serves the residents of Bakersfield and South San Joaquin Valley, is home to one Magistrate Court and chamber and the offices for the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Pretrial Services, and U.S. Probation.
The new courthouse was made possible by a federal investment of $28.5 million through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Approximately 500-700 people were employed during the construction of the building, and it will continue to provide a boost to the local economy. The new courthouse is located in Central Park, where it can be a focal point of the city's civic center and serve as a catalyst for the continued revitalization of downtown Bakersfield.
As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I am pleased that the downtown Bakersfield Courthouse includes a number of innovative green technologies to increase its energy efficiency. The building's sustainability features include low-water-usage facilities, a reflective roof, and photovoltaic cells that will generate clean power for about 30 percent of the building's total electrical needs and enable the building to earn a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
I would like to express my thanks to everyone who was involved for completing the project ahead of schedule and approximately $2 million under budget. The new federal courthouse is far more convenient for local residents, and it will serve the people of Kern County for decades to come.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer