Contra Costa County, Richard E. Arnason Justice Center, Pittsburg

Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa

Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa

Funded by Senate Bill 1732
Initial Funding Year: FY 2005-2006

Award-winning courthouse opened in November 2010.

Current Status
This project was completed in 4 Q 2010.

Vital Statistics
Occupancy date: November 15, 2010
Courtrooms: 7
Square footage: 73,500
Authorized total project cost: $64,729,000 
More information

Awards and Recognition
American Institute of Architects, Academy of Architecture for Justice, Excellence Award: 2013 Justice Facilities Review
American Institute of Architects, Academy of Architecture for Justice: 2010 Justice Facilities Review
Associated General Contractors: 2011 Excellence in Partnering Award
National Center for State Courts: Retrospective of Courthouse Design, 2001-2010
Western Council of Construction Consumers: 2011 Distinguished Project Award


"Richard E. Arnason Justice Center Grand Opening" (3:01)

The eastern region of Contra Costa County is rapidly growing. It includes the communities of Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, and Oakley. Currently served by the outdated and undersized Pittsburg-Delta Courthouse in the city of Pittsburg, this region is in need of an expanded local court presence to meet the growing demand for court services. The existing courthouse provides limited court services because of its constrained size. Creation of a full-service court that will offer new services and cases for juvenile dependency, family law support and facilitation, and child custody mediation, will improve public access to justice. In fact, because of the current facility's limited capacity, approximately 6,000 cases that should be heard in the existing courthouse are reassigned to other courts throughout the county.

This project to replace the existing four-courtroom Pittsburg-Delta Courthouse was originally funded in the FY 2005-2006 State Budget. To accommodate three additional judgeships, the funding was increased in FY 2006-2007 for the construction of a new seven-courtroom courthouse with more than 70,000 square feet. The building has been designed to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) "Silver" certification by the United States Green Building Council at the completion of construction.

The new courthouse, now named the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center,includes:

  • Seven multipurpose, jury-capable courtrooms;
  • A single point of entry, permitting full security screening;
  • A secure sally port for in-custody transportation;
  • Separate circulation for the public, staff, and in-custody defendants; and
  • Improved work areas, designed to increase case processing.

In response to a solicitation for sites, the AOC received offers in Pittsburg (adjacent to the existing courthouse), Antioch, and Oakley. Taking important local considerations into account, including population, mass transit systems, highway growth, land development costs, and the proximity of court-related county agencies, the AOC selected the Pittsburg location. The Public Works Board authorized site acquisition on September 14, 2007. Judicial leaders, court personnel, AOC staff, and city and county representatives have been participating in an advisory team throughout the project.

This project has already received significant recognition for its architectural design. It will be featured in the Justice Facility Review 2010 of the American Institute for Architects, which represents the best in justice design excellence. It is showcased by the National Center for State Courts, Retrospective of Courthouse Design, 2001-2010 for exemplary design.

The court took occupancy of the new courthouse in November 2010.

Final Negative Declaration for CEQA Compliance (February 8, 2006)
In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the AOC released a study for public review on February 9, 2007. After the close of the public comment period, the AOC prepared a Final Initial Study Mitigated Negative Declaration (3,067 KB). The Judicial Council of California approved and adopted the CEQA document at its meeting on February 23, 2007.

Architecture/Engineering Firm


General Contractor

Sundt Construction Inc.

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