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Courthouse Projects

This informational presentation was given at the town halls on August 1st and 2nd, as well as at the workshop in Commissioners Court on August 3rd. You can watch the workshop here: https://wallercountytx.swagit.com/play/08032022-832.

1. Presentation.pdf

This structural engineering report provides information on the structural conditions of the courthouse, as well as the old jail building behind the courthouse and the old hospital building.

2. Structural Report by JQ Engineering.pdf

This MEP engineering report provides information on the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in the courthouse and in the old hospital building.

3. MEP report by MD Engineering.pdf

This historic architecture report documents the courthouse’s architecture and provides information on its existing condition.

4. Historic Architect Report by Komatsu Architecture.pdf

 

Waller County would like the public’s input on the construction of a new courthouse. Please take the following survey if you’d like to provide your input for the Commissioners Court to consider.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QS7Z5MW

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why not renovate the existing Courthouse?

A: The County originally planned to renovate the existing building, but the structural limitations of the building and compromised foundation cannot be adequately addressed with a renovation and would cost more to repair than to rebuild with no guarantee that the foundation can be fully repaired.

Q: Are there any elements from the current Courthouse that will be reused in a new Courthouse?

A: Yes. To the extent possible, the County plans on reusing elements from the current Courthouse, like the bookmatched marble in the hallways. The County would like to preserve or recreate the terrazzo map of Waller County in the front entrance and either reuse it in a new building or display it somewhere else. This may be difficult due to the way the foundation and floor were constructed, but the County will look into options for preserving it as well as possible. 

Q: Will the bell tower be torn down if the County tears down the current Courthouse and builds a new one?

A: No. The County plans on keeping the bell tower.

Q: How long will a new Courthouse last?

A: A new Courthouse is being designed to accommodate anticipated growth in staff and County needs through the year 2050 with space for growth. The physical building is designed to last for 80+ years.

Q: Will the public get to have input on the design of a new Courthouse?

A: Yes. Regardless of how the County pays for the project, the County will have open design meetings, town halls, and open workshops for the public to get updates, ask questions, and provide input.

Q: How long will the project take?

A: The design of the building is ongoing and should be complete around March 2023. Demolition of the existing building will take about 2 months. Construction of a new building will take about 18 months.    

Q: What is the breakdown of the $32 million dollar cost for the Courthouse project?

A: The costs below include contingencies and escalation costs.

Demolition of existing Courthouse

$1.4 million

Swing space

$325,000

Construction of new Courthouse

$25 million

Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

$5 million

 

Under our contract with SEDALCO, any cost savings on the project will be retained by the County.

Q: If the County issues certificates of obligation or bonds for the project and the interest rates drop in the future, can the County refinance and get a lower interest rate?

A: Yes. The methods for refinancing certificates of obligations and bonds are different. The County can refinance if interest rates drop, but there are costs to doing so, much like refinancing a home mortgage.

Q: If the County issues certificates of obligation or bonds for $32 million, can the County use the money for anything it wants?

A: No. Both certificates of obligation and bonds are restricted funds and can only be used for the items for which they are issued.

 

 

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