After about ten of years of working from a portable building, the Merced County District Attorney’s employees who work in Los Banos recently moved into a remodeled section of the old Merced County courthouse building located at 545 W. I Street, announced District Attorney Larry D. Morse II.
The Merced Superior Court relinquished possession of the old courthouse when it moved into new facilities on G Street near Mercy Springs in the fall of 2016. Since then, the building still continued to be occupied by the Sheriff’s Department’s west side station, the Probation Department’s west side office and a satellite Public Defender’s office.
Due to significant growth on the west side of Merced County and the opening of the new courthouse, the District Attorney’s need for additional employees grew, as did the need for additional office space. As a result, Morse began pressuring the county to remodel the old courthouse, which would provide a larger and more permanent space for the office staff. The county accepted the challenge last year, and began remodeling the building in stages.
“These new facilities are a dramatic upgrade over the facility our staff has occupied for years. We are looking forward to the day that jury trials will be held in Los Banos. Having adequate office space is essential to that goal. We appreciate the Merced County CEO’s office and the Board of Supervisors working with us to repurpose the old courthouse,” said Morse.
With stage one completed, the District Attorney’s office is now housed in at least three times the space with completely updated and modernized facilities. The next phase of the remodel is geared towards getting the building ready for the other departments who will share the building with the District Attorney’s office, including the Public Defender’s Office, the Probation Department and the Sheriff’s Department. These departments have moved into portable buildings while their sections of the building are being remodeled.
“The fact that the county was able to provide the District Attorney’s office with impressive facilities by intelligently repurposing an existing building at a far smaller cost than new construction, should be a source of pride for the citizens of Merced County,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Hal Nutt.