Victoria County Courthouse

Victoria County commissioners meet in the Victoria County Courthouse at 115 N. Bridge St.

Renovating the Victoria County commissioners courtroom could cost $124,000 more than originally anticipated.

Commissioners will discuss the renovation plans at their meeting Monday to decide whether they still want to renovate the space as planned or whether they want to choose a cheaper option.

County officials settled on a plan to expand available courtroom space and reconfigure part of the 1967 courthouse last year, when they decided to use the room where commissioners court currently meets as an additional courtroom for a county court-at-law judge. Commissioners would meet in the renovated space of County Treasurer Sean Kennedy’s office.

When commissioners initially settled on that plan, they had expected construction costs to total $365,000, bringing the complete cost of the renovation to $468,000 including the price of benches, furniture, technology and inspections for the new space.

But now that the county has sought proposals from the companies seeking to complete the project, the total cost is estimated to be $592,693.

At the meeting Monday, commissioners will decide whether to change some aspects of their original plan to reduce the cost of the project. Two options to reduce the total project cost are to keep a vertical beam that is currently in the space but would block part of the audience’s view in the renovated courtroom, said Caitlin Weinheimer, chief of staff for County Judge Ben Zeller. If commissioners decide not to remove the beam, it could knock off about $143,000 from the total price tag.

Another option would be to eliminate some of the planned ceiling and flooring details, which would reduce the cost by about $15,000.

The county hired the architectural firm PGAL to design the courtroom expansion last year. When architects initially presented the cost estimates for the project, commissioners said the price tag was lower than they expected.

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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