We are DCA

Welcome! Derivi Castellanos Architects (DCA) is proud to celebrate more than 44 years of serving California statewide. Established in 1979 by Steve Castellanos and Linda Derivi, our firm’s enviable reputation is built on years of being responsive to clients’ needs, bringing an exceptional team to every project, delivering high-quality design solutions, and focusing on providing the best customer service possible.

DCA has designed hundreds of projects in a variety of market sectors across the state. Our seasoned professionals bring many years of combined experience, delivering successful architecture and project management services for education (TK-12 and community colleges), healthcare, commercial, institutional, and religious facilities. We are well versed in 21st century architecture and building requirements, with LEED accredited professionals who are experts in sustainability.

We offer a solid leadership team with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Steve Castellanos, Founding Partner, served as the California State Architect from 2000-2005, where he developed key relationships in the industry and a strong understanding of the state process. Managing partner, Juan G. Barroso, brings extensive design-build experience and cost management skills.

Together, our unique relationships with state agencies and our network of building professionals have become a tremendous asset for our clients’ projects. We love what we do and look forward to seeing how DCA’s services can benefit you!

DCA’s mission is to be the leader in customer service, satisfaction and loyalty in the California education market.

Derivi Castellanos Architects (DCA) are champions of gender inclusion,

with 40% of our architectural staff being women. We at DCA would like to celebrate International Women’s Day by sharing an interview with our founder Linda Derivi, one of the first women owners of an architectural firm in California…



As the Founding Partner of DCA, Steve Castellanos provides senior leadership to the firm. He has more than 40 years of industry experience, is a highly-respected professional in California architecture, and is an expert on educational projects. After 40 years in practice and hundreds of successful K-12 projects to his credit, Steve was selected as State Architect, where he led the Division of State Architect (DSA) from 2000-2005. During this time, he worked to streamline the organization and improve its attention to the needs of its constituent school districts. Steve also made incredible progress in moving public construction in California towards Integrated Project Delivery and high-performing building standards.



As Managing Partner for DCA, Juan Barroso brings more than 18 years of professional experience and a strong background in civil engineering, city planning and business management. He is highly skilled in the areas of cost estimating, value engineering and design management, and has worked on complex projects ranging from water/wastewater design and high-tech manufacturing facilities, to commercial offices and educational buildings. For the past 10 years, Juan has focused primarily on public K-12 education design/construction, and has been involved in more than 200 successful projects. Clients describe Juan as a talented and dedicated professional who is deeply committed to their success.

Ramon Gomez, AIA


As a Senior Principal Architect and the newest member of the DCA leadership team, Ramon Gomez brings more than 16 years of professional design experience and a diverse portfolio of education projects. His background includes working on LEED and CHPS certified facilities, as well as projects with design-build and lease-leaseback delivery methods. Ramon’s ability to understand his clients’ needs, combined with his expertise with technical issues, is instrumental in delivering solutions that are not just on time and budget, but also provide the best value to DCA’s clients.

Chris Brown


Chris Brown, Chief Operating Officer, has 25 years’ experience in higher education as a Vice President of Administration as well as a Chief Facilities Officer, in the Community College system as well as the California State University system. His background gives him a unique combination of experience and expertise regarding finance and facilities in the educational sector. Chris oversaw many projects from planning to construction, as well as multiple master planning efforts. Chris has the background to help DCA better understand the challenges our education clients face, as well as fully understanding what they need from us as a Client.

José L. Banda


José L. Banda, Director of Client Relations, has over 35 years’ experience in K12, serving both in the classroom as well as at all levels up to and including Superintendent of some very large Districts. José has been a Superintendent at Sacramento City School District, Seattle Public Schools, and Anaheim City Schools District, as well as others. In addition to his many District leadership roles, José has served in leadership roles with the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), the Association for California School Administrators (ACSA), the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (ALAS), WASC School Visitation Teams, as well as the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS). During his time as a Superintendent in K12, José was responsible for the planning and oversight for hundreds of millions of dollars of school facility development. As such, José is intimately aware of the challenges and needs of our clients and their communities, giving him a unique ability to help DCA best serve our clients and the communities they serve.

Dr. J. Arturo Reyes


Dr. J. Arturo Reyes, Director of Client Relations for Higher Education, has over 35 years’ experience in the Education Sector. He has experience as K12 Faculty, College Faculty, College Dean, College Vice President, and Superintendent/President of multiple Community College Districts. Arturo’s experience at all levels in the Education Sector gives him a unique perspective on our client needs. He has been responsible for many design and construction projects at the Community College level and is well versed in the needs and challenges that come with these projects. From College Master Planning to individual project implementation, Arturo understands what it takes to serve the community to the highest level possible. Arturo’s intimate knowledge of the needs of Higher Education and the communities they serve helps DCA serve these communities to the highest degree possible.


What our clients are saying

  • With DCA’s approach and preparation, the Galt Elementary School District, is very happy with the results. DCA has met and exceeded the district’s expectations with several projects. In my past work at Sacramento City USD where I oversaw over $200M in construction projects…I can say that DCA would be a partner I would seek for all size projects within a school district.

    Tom Barentson
    Retired, CBO Galt Joint Unified School District and Deputy Supt. of Administrative Services at Sacramento City USD
  • The Roseville City School District went out for a design-build RFQ for a new elementary school in the spring of 2018. DCA separated themselves from the competition due to their ability to listen intently to our needs, seek feedback on their conceptual designs, and commit to meeting the strict timelines. The school design exceeded our expectations.  Based on our experience, we look forward to partnering with DCA on future projects in the Roseville City School District.

    Derk Garcia
    Superintendent | Roseville City School District
  • DCA has assisted us on several projects going back to 2014. They helped us successfully deliver out Prop 39 energy efficiency projects as well as the replacement of the main entry road to our campus…as the ‘new member’ of our team, they ‘jumped in,’ providing much needed leadership to our group of stakeholders and pre-existing consultants, which allowed us to deliver our projects on-time and within budget.

    J. Arturo Reyes
    Superintendent/President | Mendocino-Lake Community College District
  • Through a combination of technical expertise, collaboration and customer service, DCA helped us become one of the first small districts in California to gain funding approval for our Prop 39 projects…the DCA team exhibited first rate professionalism, excellent work ethic, and worked with successfully with Trustees and staff to maximize optimal service to our learning committee.

    José L. González
    Superintendent |. Planada School District
  • Over the past 25 years, DCA has been partnering with our District on a variety of projects…DCA has presented a level of professionalism, teamwork and creativity that we do not always experience with other architectural firms. The DCA team always listens and responds in a timely manner with solutions and options. This all-encompassing professionalism has made DCA a pleasure to work with—something we look forward to for many years to come.

    Steve L. Breakfield
    Director, Facilities & Planning | Stockton Unified School District
  • I have worked with Christina on three projects. She is very detail-oriented, and produces very tight and accurate documents. She also listens to what I need and focuses on my priorities.

    Fernando Nieto
    Director of Facilities | Soledad Unified School District
  • It was a pleasure working with DCA on the Jesse Sanchez projects. Their professionalism, knowledge, and understanding of the project and needs of the owner, and the ability to work hand in hand with the contractor created a successful project from the beginning. Their team was sensitive to the constraints of both the budget and time, continually pushing the project forward. Because this was a “fast-track” project, the quick attention and response we received from DCA on every issue made this project a huge success.

    Sharon Dilbeck
    President | Dilbeck & Sons, Inc.
  • I have worked with Juan on numerous projects that had very tight budgets. His ability to manage the design and keep the project on budget is amazing. I feel like Juan really listened to our priorities.

    Jose L. Manzo
    Superintendent | Oak Grove School District
  • Steve has led the implementation of our Master Plan for the past four years. His interpersonal and facilitation skills have led not only to successful projects, but just as importantly, to a group of constituents that felt listened to.

    Dr. Esmeralda Mondragon
    Superintendent | Calistoga Jt. Unified School District
  • I have worked with Craig on multiple projects for our District, most recently on a new school campus. He pays constant attention to our needs. He is a good listener and a genuine team player. We have given Craig our most important projects, and he has always delivered for us.

    John Ramirez, Jr.
    Superintendent | Alisal Union School District
  • Led by Ramon, the architectural team on our new Interdisciplinary & Fine Arts Building delivered a new facility on time and under budget that met our stakeholder’s needs and became a point of pride for our community.

    J. Arturo Reyes
    President | San Jose City College