Brazos County Courthouse Improvements Getting Costlier

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Renovations to the Brazos County Courthouse are now going to be costlier.

Tuesday night's update on courthouse construction turned into a panel discussion for Brazos County Commissioners.

After close inspection it turns out the concrete wall panels on the north, west, and east sides of the building were welded incorrectly during construction in 1984.

Poor or undersized welds were used on 675 connections.

Each panel weighs 13,000 pounds and there's concern they could fall in winds over 50 miles per hour.

"It's a safety factor for the people of Brazos County and we certainly didn't want anything to happen that would injure anybody," said Randy Sims, Brazos County Judge.

Commissioners voted unanimously to repair and replace the panels during the meeting and will replace the north facing wall with a glass facade curtain wall at a cost of $1,037,000.

Judge Randy Sims tells us the money will come out of the same funds being used for the current $2 million plus renovations happening now.

"It's gonna make it kind of tight but we're gonna be able to fund it anyway because it's a necessary evil, if you want to know the truth," Sims said.

Commissioners decided to forgo competitive bidding on the project and use the same companies doing the current renovations, because of the urgency of the problem.

"It was an emergency yes, we wanna get this thing fixed quickly as possible knowing full well we're going into the hurricane season and I think that the severity of which could impact us," said Sims.

The construction is estimated to take 90 days once it begins and will temporarily displace some offices in the courthouse.

"I think people will be happy with what they're seeing once it's completed," Judge Randy Sims added.

While it's not the best of news commissioners say it has the potential to take the Brazos County Courthouse off the list of ugliest buildings in Texas.

Replacement of the concrete panels could begin within the next three to four months and will likely cause lane closures on William Joel Bryan Parkway.

Judge Sims tells us the builder responsible for the inadequate welding has since gone bankrupt and out of business.