The new Saint John courthousewill be constructed as a public-private partnership.

The $47-millionbuilding will have 13 courtrooms along with offices for judges, Crown prosecutors, sheriffs and other staff.

Two of the new courtrooms have been included to accommodate the eventual closure of courts in Hampton and Sussex.

The building will also be linked to a new police station by underground tunnel that may be part of a parking complex.

A request for proposals from private-sector developers will be issued in the spring, said Supply and Services Minister Roly MacIntyre.

The new courthouse will be built on the former YMCA property on Hazen Avenue in the downtown area. Itis expected to be completed in 2010.