Victoria County courtroom renovation halted

Victoria County officials are preparing for a renovation of a courtroom. However, demolition delays and costs have made the process lengthier.

“The reason why this has taken so long is because there is a big concrete load bearing column beam in the middle of that office space, that is supposed to be our new courtroom.” explains Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller.

Currently, only four rooms are available for judges at both the county and district level. Due to the lack of adequate space some judges are urging commissioners to move faster with the expansion of the courtroom.

“I need a courtroom bad, and I need this to keep going forward in a positive way. So, that’s my two cents worth.” says Judge Travis Ernst, who attended commissioners court Monday morning.

The current bid for the renovation is lower than current cost. This is due to rising construction prices after Harvey.

“A year ago, it was estimated that that beam removal and engineering and work would be up to $100,000. The estimate, now, $143,000.” adds Zeller.

The significant price difference has halted the renovation, where commissioners voted to wait for a new estimate- prolonging the completion date.

“As complicated as it is, we need engineers and architects involved, and it’s taking time.” says Zeller.