Brazos County Courthouse 4th Floor Renovations Include Fixing Damage From Years-Long Leak

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BRYAN - Construction is getting even costlier at the Brazos County Courthouse after a years-long leak in the old jail damaged steel and concrete inside.

Tuesday commissioners voted to make necessary repairs for ongoing renovations.

News 3 went inside for a hard hat tour of the damage Tuesday afternoon.

Some new problems were recently discovered on the fourth floor of the Brazos County Courthouse in what used to be the jail built in 1954.

News 3 got the latest look with a hard hat tour of renovations after Brazos County Commissioners voted to spend $138,692 for repairs and $13,869.20 in architecture fees to fix a leak under the jail that damaged concrete and steel.

While the leak had been going on on the fourth floor for years the county just recently became aware of how extensive the damage is and how much it will cost to fix.

"We put pans under it. They tried to caulk it but you really couldn't get to the area where the actual leak was occurring until we got the inmates out of that area," said Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.

Peters says there have been challenges fixing the aging courthouse.

"We found that it was actually below the showers, three showers in there that have been leaking for years and years," Peters said.

Fred Patterson with Patterson Architects says the decay would have likely continued had renovations not been happening.

"We're able to go ahead and minimize the construction delays by taking out small sections of the floor and recasting that concrete so we will be able to go on with construction," Patterson said.

Judge Travis Bryan III and the other two district judges will move to the fourth floor next year once renovations wrap up.

"We recognize that anytime you remodel an old building you're gonna run into things you don't expect and so that's to be taken in stride and we're doing that. We're real happy with everything the way it's going along," Bryan said.

A project expected to take ten years with all construction closing out in 2018.

The fourth floor renovations are expected to be finished by April 2015 with the projects being completed by Madison Construction.

To date, the county has spent $7.3 million on construction and have contracted an additional $4.8 million.

We're told by the architect that building a brand-new courthouse would have likely cost twice as much.