Edinburg: Commissioners Court Amends Architect’s Contract for New Courthouse Finish Out
Feature Photo (above): The view looking west from South 12th Avenue and East Cano Street at site work for the new Hidalgo County Courthouse. The old courthouse can be seen in the distance (center of horizon). Image: Google Streets/Dec. 2018.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Edinburg (Hidalgo County) — Over the past few months, Hidalgo County Commissioners Court has taken action on the finish out of the new courthouse, and held discussion on Phase 2–the demolition of the old courthouse.
Following an April 16 workshop on how to proceed with the finish out of Floors 3 and 5 in the seven-story new building, HDR Architecture Inc. managing principal Harold Thompson sent a letter to the Purchasing Department with a design fee estimate of $515,183.
The designs will address the finish out of shell space on the 3rd Floor that will create two courtrooms; the finish out of the 5th Floor to create four courtrooms; the installation lavatories on floors 3 to 7.
At the May 7 regular session, Commissioners Court voted to amend its 2017 contract with HDR to include the $515,183 fee.
The courtrooms added to the 3rd Floor will be used immediately when the building is completed. The four courtrooms on the 5th Floor, however, are for future use. There will be a total of 30 courtrooms.
The April 16 workshop session covered a number of capital improvement program projects and went into more detail on the courthouse. Staff mentioned that construction costs tied to the finish out would run to almost $9 million.
In addition to the six additional courtrooms and the lavatories, there is the installation of screening on the roof and around the parking area for judges, the addition of two elevators, and outdoor furnishings such as benches.
Source: Hidalgo County
Once the courthouse is completed and county staff relocated, Commissioners Court intend to address Phase 2. This involves demolition and mitigation work on facilities that will no longer be in use. Decisions are pending on how to proceed with land at the town square after demolition.
The court’s options include some combination of parking and green space. Staff said HDR submitted a rough estimate fee of $150,000 to do the post-construction designs.
Construction began with site clearing and grading of the courthouse staff’s surface parking lot in the September-October 2018 period.
At 333,000 square feet, the new courthouse will be more the triple the size of the old courthouse. Commissioners Court initially budgeted $150 million for its construction and related expenses, but the total project budget is now closer to $163 million.
The project schedule calls for completion of the courthouse by July 2021. Phase 2 demolition and the subsequent construction of parking and landscaping will take place from December 2021 to July 2022.
Architects: HDR and ERO
Project Manager: Jacobs Project Management Company
CMAR: Morganti Texas Inc.
HDR rendering of the proposed Hidalgo County Courthouse. Courtesy: Hidalgo County.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.