Best Renovation/Restoration Project

Photo courtesy of Stronghold Engineering
The historic central courthouse was built in 1926.
Photo courtesy of Stronghold Engineering
Work included seismic upgrading, interior remodel and historic renovation.

This $26.6-million multi-phased renovation project called for the seismic retrofit, partial interior remodel and historic renovation of more than 194,000 sq ft of the existing county courthouse in San Bernardino.

The construction took place in two fully occupied and operational buildings with more than 500 staff members and daily occupancy exceeding 3,000 people.

The historic central courthouse, a 102,535-sq-ft building with four floors, was constructed in 1926. It includes a central plant and an annex building, also known as the T-Wing, which covers 92,029 sq ft and has six floors that were built in 1959.

The project was phased so that only three courtrooms were closed at any given time, keeping the courthouse fully operational. The general contractor and project submitter Stronghold Engineering said it committed to work nights and weekends as a standard schedule in order to keep the buildings in operation.

The team created a plan that included four major phases, with two to four sub-phases within each major phase.

Historic renovations included all of the original building's interior and exterior finishes. Many of the artistic details in the corridors, foyer and lobbies had deteriorated and suffered water damage over the years.

Repairs included painted canvas ceilings; substantial millwork in corridors and courtrooms; repair and replacement of marble wainscot; and period-style lighting and tile.

Additionally, Stronghold said the team renovated three courtrooms at the south end of the building by repairing damaged ceilings, reconditioning windows and stonework, and replacing ceiling lights with custom-designed period-style lighting from Italy.

The seismic retrofit portion of the project required the excavation of more than 1,930 cu yd of dirt in the crawl space beneath the building and construction of new foundation spread footings to support new interior shear walls and to distribute loads from existing footings.

Key Players

Owner: San Bernardino County

General Contractor: Stronghold Engineering, Riverside

Construction Management: Parsons Brinckerhoff, Riverside

Architect/Structural Engineer: ABS Consulting, Irvine

MEP Engineer: Dahl Taylor and Associates, Santa Ana

Submitted by:

Stronghold Engineering