Crews from Rudolph and Sletten Construction begin on the future site of the new Justice Center. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)
SAN BERNARDINO - The estimated $339 million project, which has been in development since 2007, will be an 11-story building with 36 courtrooms.

It's being built across the street from the historic courthouse, on donated city land - on Third Street and Arrowhead Avenue - where a county employee parking lot now sits.

State and local leaders said the developing courthouse will be a generator of thousands of jobs while contributing to what city leaders said is an emerging downtown "renaissance" of theaters, a transit center and office buildings.

While it will hold 36 courtrooms, the old courthouse will still be in business.

The old courhouse is visible from the Rudolph and Sletten construction site for the upcoming San Bernardino Justice Center
The old courhouse is visible from the Rudolph and Sletten construction site for the upcoming San Bernardino Justice Center as seen in downtown San Bernardino. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)

"The current plan is that civil and probate (cases) will remain in the historic courthouse," said Teresa Ruano, spokeswoman for the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

Workers were able to begin construction after the state treasurer's office sold a lease-revenue bond, which generated $304.7 million for the project.

The bonds will be repaid from court fees and penalties and won't impact the state's general fund. San Bernardino County also contributed to costs for the project.

The new courthouse is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014 and will be the largest civic building constructed in the downtown area in half a century.

State officials said the project should generate thousands of construction jobs during the next two years.

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