San Joaquin County, Juvenile Justice Center Renovation/Expansion

New courtroom in Juvenile Justice Center in French CampSuperior Court of California, County of San Joaquin

Funded by Senate Bill 1407
Initial Funding Year: FY 2010-2011

Courtroom in Juvenile Justice Center in French Camp

Current Status
This project was completed in 2 Q 2015.

Vital Statistics
Occupancy date: June 1, 2015
Courtrooms: 1 added, for a total of 3
Square footage: addition of 3,945
Current authorized project budget: $3,774,000 
More information

The Superior Court of San Joaquin County provides countywide juvenile court services from the Juvenile Justice Center in French Camp, approximately six miles south of Stockton. The current two-courtroom facility is part of a campus occupied by various county functions, including the juvenile detention center, probation, district attorney, and public defender. The current facility has several deficiencies related to security, efficiency, and accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This project involves renovating the existing facility and building a 4,000-square-foot addition to:

  • Increase the capacity for juvenile court proceedings by adding a third courtroom, thereby providing space for a new judgeship;
  • Improve the lobby by correctly placing security screening in a functional and appropriately sized space; and
  • Modify public restrooms and public counters for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Judicial Council expects to complete interior improvements in off hours as needed to minimize disruption to court operations.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The Judicial Council complied with CEQA by filing a categorical exemption for this project on March 8, 2011.

Architect's rendering, front exterior and entrance

Architect's rendering, courtroom

Architecture/Engineering Firm

Anova Architects, Inc.

General Contractor Diede Construction

June 2015

What is the current status of the project?

The renovation and expansion of the San Joaquin County Juvenile Justice Center was completed in spring 2015.


Why are renovations needed to the San Joaquin County Juvenile Justice Center?

The Superior Court San Joaquin County provides countywide juvenile court services, including juvenile delinquency, traffic, and drug collaborative court from the Juvenile Justice Center in French Camp, approximately six miles south of Stockton. The court occupies close to five percent of the County-owned complex, which also houses the County’s juvenile detention center as well as offices for probation, the district attorney, and the public defender. The small area the court occupies is outdated, overcrowded, and in desperate need of renovation; the two-courtroom courthouse and ancillary space cannot accommodate the additional workload necessary to adequately serve the residents of San Joaquin County. Examples of deficiencies include:

  • Security screening is in a corridor off the public lobby. The area is undersized, overcrowded, and away from the building’s entrance.
  • The court reporter’s office is in a cramped, converted hallway that lacks adequate ventilation.
  • The clerk’s counter and public restrooms are inaccessible to people with disabilities.
  • Other issues include inadequate systems for HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and life safety.

What does the renovation include?

The renovation provides for a third, 4,000-square-foot courtroom, additional public space, and space for the clerk’s area, court interpreters, and staff. The renovated courthouse will also provide for a new judgeship and significant improvements in security for the public, accessibility for people with disabilities, and improved efficiency, enabling the court to better serve residents of San Joaquin County with juvenile delinquency issues.

Who is the Judicial Council, and why are they managing this project?

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body for the California court system, including the trial courts, known as Superior Courts, based in each county. Among other responsibilities, the council through its Capital Program office is responsible for planning, acquisition, design, renovation, and construction of court facilities.

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Who is the architect on the project?

The Sacramento-based architect firm of ANOVA Nexus designed the renovation and addition. The 30-year-old firm has broad experience designing buildings for public use, and has designed numerous construction projects in the Central Valley including libraries, schools, and commercial and government buildings. Specialists in sustainability, in 2013 the firm ranked in the top 10 of Northern California’s green architectural firms.

How was the architect selected?

Judicial Council staff use a competitive selection process, factoring in qualitative criteria, such as the firm’s experience, as well as its fee.

Where can I see a rendering of the renovation?

For a rendering of the new courthouse, please see the GALLERY tab on the project webpage.

Will the renovated courthouse be energy-efficient and sustainably designed?

This project has been designed to comply with state standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, resource efficiency, and environmental quality. Sustainability features include extensive use of natural light throughout the addition, including the new courtroom, and energy-efficient lighting, plumbing, and HVAC systems.



Why is the Judicial Council in charge of the renovation project? Why isn't this a county decision?

Historically, trial courts functioned largely as county departments, but that changed in 2002, with passage of the Trial Court Facilities Act. This law made the State of California responsible for court facilities statewide, rather than the counties. The law gave the Judicial Council responsibility for facilities owned or occupied by the courts and made it responsible for operations, maintenance, and repairs, as well as site acquisition, planning, design, and construction of capital projects that replace or renovate courthouses. Council staff work closely with each affected Superior Court and local government throughout the process. Though the Judicial Council is responsible for renovating the existing juvenile justice center through its mandate, San Joaquin County will continue to own the courthouse.



What environmental review was conducted on the site before the renovation?

Judicial Council staff are responsible for environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Staff completed the CEQA process by filing a categorical exemption for this project in March 2011.

Is the renovated building energy-efficient and sustainably designed?

Yes. The building was renovated with great attention to sustainability. Energy-efficiency features include advanced conservation methods in heating and cooling and state-of-the-art artificial lighting and plumbing, as well as ample flow of natural light throughout the courthouse.



How was the project funded?

The courthouse was ranked as an “Immediate Need” in the judicial branch’s capital-outlay plan, making it among the branch’s highest-priority infrastructure projects. It is funded by Senate Bill 1407, enacted in 2008 to provide up to $5 billion in bond funding for new and renovated courthouses using court fees, penalties, and assessments rather than taxpayer revenues from the state’s General Fund.

How was the state able to renovate the justice center, given current state finances?

To fund desperately needed renovations and repairs, criminal penalties and assessments, parking offense penalties, and civil filing fees were created or increased. This ensured a revenue stream to finance courthouse construction and renovations, promising these projects would be paid for from within the court system rather than drawing on the state's General Fund or local taxes. The Juvenile Justice Center renovation was funded directly by this revenue stream.

What is the impact of the state’s current budget crisis on this project?

Since 2009, $1.5 billion in court construction funds have been borrowed, swept to the General Fund, or redirected to court operations. As a result, this project, as with many courthouse projects statewide, was subjected to delays. In addition, every Senate Bill 1407 project has been required by the Judicial Council to undergo budget reductions. These reductions are overseen by a statewide oversight committee of justices, judges, and public building experts established by the Judicial Council.



Who is the general contractor on the project?

Family-owned Diede Construction is the general contractor on the project. In business since 1878, the Northern California company provides design-build, development, and construction management services and is experienced in civic and government construction.

How was the general contractor selected?

The competitive selection process factors in qualitative criteria, such as the firm’s experience, as well as the contractor’s fee. Selection criteria included an evaluation of the firm’s plan for outreach to local subcontractors, ensuring that qualified local firms were fully aware of the bidding opportunity, the process, and the timeline. In this case, three firms were prequalified.

What are the Judicial Council's policies with regard to local hiring and purchasing during design and construction? How will members of the public find out about these opportunities?

The Judicial Council requires that the contractor conduct outreach to local subcontractors, ensuring that qualified local firms are fully aware of the bidding opportunity, process, and timeline. All qualified subcontractors, lower-tier subcontractors, and suppliers were considered.

When will the renovations to the justice center be completed?

The project was completed in spring 2015.


News Releases
Architect Selected (1/31/11)
Funding Authorization (7/12/10)

Historical Documents
Project Feasibility Report

Contact Info

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Capital Program

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San Francisco, California

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