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Bryan Justice Center Update

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Plans for a new justice center in Bryan are progressing, but some unexpected costs have arose and that has some council members raising a brow.

Plans for the new justice center on Texas Avenue in Bryan include room for the police department and city court. It was supposed to cost about $15 million. But now developers are asking for $2 million more. Part of that is preparing the site and demolition costs which will cost more than expected.

" We are in the process of taking over 4 city blocks of downtown Bryan for this project and the relocations of utilities for all of the different franchises, that budget, we need $40,000 more to be able to do that," said architect Hal Sargent.

Sargent, says new requests like an employee parking lot, are another reason for the price hike.

The size of the building has already been cut down once to save money. It went from 68 thousand square feet down to 62 thousand.

Bryan Police Chief Michael Strope says despite down sizing the proposed facility is still a big improvement from their current one.

" It has a number of design limitations, growth limitations, parking limitations, security limitations, and basically really limits where we can go as an organization in providing services to the community," said Strope.

" The current building they have doesn't meet any of the standards in the nature of crime labs, or processing evidence, or even proper movement of detainees. So they'll be coming into the 21st century," said Sargent.

But it may not be long before the city out grows the new building. There are no options for future add-ons. Developers think the facility will accommodate the city for at least 10 years.
No word on what will happen then.

The council awarded a construction contract for the justice center utilities project and will consider the additional money and requests at its next meeting.

Planners hope to begin demolition on the site in 2 months.