2014-12-24 / News

County administrative building nearly complete

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter


NEW CHAIRS inside the 197th Judicial District Court room. 
(Photo by TonyVindell) NEW CHAIRS inside the 197th Judicial District Court room. (Photo by TonyVindell) The remodeling work of the old Willacy County jail is nearly complete, but a few things are being done to get the job done once and for all.

The old jail has been converted into offices for all the personnel working at the mold-ridden county courthouse across the street.

That includes the county district attorney, auditor, treasurer and district clerk offices as well as the 197th Judicial District Court and the offices for Precincts 1 and 2.

All in all, about 40 people have been working in the courthouse that will be abandoned once everybody get transferred to the old building that is getting a major facelift at a cost of more than a $1.2 million.

A project to seek a grant to preserve the century old courthouse is in its planning stages, county officials said.

Hector Galindo, site manager with the company hired to do the remodeling, said he is turning over the keys for all the offices this week.

However, he said they are working on the newest sets of change orders approved during last week’s meeting of the Willacy County Commissioners’ Court.

They are the installation of a hurricane fence on the north side of the building, railings on the east side, a specialized glass in the courtroom and the lowering of the witness stand.

The change orders will cost an estimated $14,000.

The stand is a little too high and did not meet handicapped specifications.

To do that, a carpenter has to cut the top of the stand to lower it down.

Once that is done, the wood will have to be sanded, polished and stained.

Although that might sound like an easy job, Galindo said finding a crew to do the job is another matter.

The railing of the east side will provide not only protection but better safety for people who are physically challenged.

A crew was scheduled to be at the site later this week to install the fence and the railings.

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