Brazos County Expo Center a Reality

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Building an expo center in Brazos County has been in the works for several years. Now Brazos County commissioners are taking a step toward its completion. Commissioners signed off Tuesday morning to begin building.

The expo center will be built near the intersection of Highway 47 and Leonard Road. The design is slightly smaller than commissioners originally wanted.

"Escalation in price just went out of sight," Brazos County Judge Randy Sims said.

Securing the property, negotiations with the landowner, and an environmental study by the core of engineers took longer than expected.

"Our commissioner’s court as a whole said we are not going over the budget that we have left out of the bond issues," Judge Sims said. "So we said let us see what we can do to put something out there that would be very usable by the citizens of our community and that's what we did."

In a 2000 bond election, $18.5 million was set aside, six years later $15,732,000 is left. The total cost to build the expo center, $15,654,483.

The expo center will consist of a 45,572 square foot exhibit hall, a stall barn, and a covered arena that will seat about 3,000 people."

As for the need of the expo center, Brazos County Judge Randy Sims says the center has it's place among other county entities like the Brazos Center.

"I really think this is something we want to incorporate animal events, horse shows, rodeos," Judge Sims said. "I think it would be a great addition to it which the Brazos Center cannot accommodate."

At one time the idea was to move county administration offices to the Brazos Center, now those offices will be moving into the First Baptist Church. The Brazos Center will stay the same.

"We're trying to make it more convenient for the citizens to come in and also give some space to these folks," Judge Sims said.

The date when construction will begin on the expo center has yet to be determined.

Tuesday morning commissioners also granted permission to begin construction on a new Brazos County Sheriff's administration building.

The 28,407 square foot, two story building will be built across from the Brazos County Detention Center on Sandy Point road.

The building will cost $6,740,083. The budget consists of $6,757,000.