San Bernardino County, San Bernardino Justice Center

Photo of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino Justice Center

Completion Date: 2nd Qtr 2014
Occupancy Date: March 12, 2014
Gross Square Footage: 383,745
Total Courtrooms: 35 with 2 Hearing rooms
Authorized Project Budget: $339,822,000
Architectural/Engineering Firm: Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP
Construction Manager at Risk: Rudolph & Sletten, Inc.
Fund: Statewide increases in court user fees, authorized by the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002
Initial Funding Year: FY 2007–2008

San Bernardino County, San Bernardino Justice Center

The Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino formerly served residents of the City of San Bernardino and the surrounding communities of Redlands, Fontana, and Twin Peaks in nine separate facilities. These facilities poorly served the growing needs of the superior court, and the lack of consolidated facilities exacerbated the functional problems of the main court facilities.

The nexus of court operations was the downtown court complex, consisting of two facilities. The historic San Bernardino Courthouse was constructed in 1926 as a county office and court facility and is on the National Register of Historic Places. This courthouse originally had 2 courtrooms and a boardroom and later housed 15 marginal courtrooms. This facility was expanded in 1958 with the construction of the adjoining San Bernardino Courthouse Annex behind the historic courthouse. This facility, referred to as the "T-Wing," was originally designed as offices for county agencies with no courtrooms. Over time, the T-Wing was pressed into service as a courthouse, housing 11 makeshift courtrooms. These facilities had significant security problems, were very overcrowded, had many physical problems, and prevented the court from operating safely and efficiently.

The new courthouse provides a 36-courtroom facility on a site donated by the City of San Bernardino directly across the street from the historic courthouse. The project consolidated court operations, replacing seven facilities, and includes space for court administration, a court clerk, court security operations, a holding area, and facility support space. The 11-story building occupies a site of about 7 acres, which also includes 385 surface parking spaces for court visitors and staff.

The design, by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, incorporates several innovative features, including ways to draw daylight into the building without heat and to collect and reuse rooftop rainwater. The building's sustainability features were designed for it to receive LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The project went on to achieve LEED Gold certification because of the shared sustainability goals of the Judicial Council of California (JCC), the court, the architect, and the builder. Construction began in November 2011 and was completed in spring 2014.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance

The JCC is the lead agency for preparation of an environmental report to comply with CEQA.


March 19, 2008 to April 18, 2008: Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration circulated. The draft study evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommended mitigation measures.

April 9, 2008: Public meeting held.
In response to public comments, the JCC completed a Final Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration.

On May 7, 2008, the JCC filed a Notice of Determination, thereby completing the CEQA process.

Project History

Final CEQA Report  (42.4 MB)


Contact Info

Judicial Council of California
Facilities Services

455 Golden Gate Avenue
8th Floor
San Francisco, California