Lionakis is currently providing construction administration services for Tuolumne County’s new courthouse in Sonora, CA. Lionakis has completed several test and fit site plans for the building at the County’s Law and Justice Center (LJC), located just south of State Highway 108. Key design issues that are crucial to establishing the new courthouse as the focal point of the LJC include siting the building to display the prominence of the Courts in our society. There is also a great emphasis on sustainability, circulation and providing outdoor spaces with views of the spectacular natural surroundings. This courthouse at two stories high, will contain five courtrooms, court clerk and administration spaces, as well as in-custody facilities.

Tuolumne County is known for using its very own Columbia Marble on facilities throughout the County including at State and Federal monuments. Throughout the design phase, it was important that this historical and regional natural resource of the County be integrated into the design. Two features in the courthouse will utilize the local marble:

  1. The judge’s benches as a textured featured wall.
  2. In the surrounding courthouse landscape, creating a visible anchor to the site as soon as you enter the courtroom lobby.

The marble slabs have begun to be placed in and around the facility. Also, because the courthouse sits on a prominent hillside, expansive clerestory windows were incorporated in the design, to be placed above the courthouse lobby. These have recently been installed and will provide abundant natural daylighting and views of the surrounding hillsides. On a clear day, it’s possible to see nearby Yosemite National Park.

The project is slated to be completed in April 2021 and will soon provide a long-awaited new home for the County and Judicial Council of California.