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Section A: General News


Wilson County Courthouse renovation could cost taxpayers $1.5 million




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Wilson County News
September 19, 2012 | 1,963 views | 11 comments

FLORESVILLE -- It could take approximately $1.5 million to rehabilitate the Wilson County Courthouse here, according to architect Lyndsay Thorn of ThornGraves. Thorn gave a presentation of his company’s concept for alleviating the ongoing structural issues of the 128-year-old downtown Floresville landmark during a Sept. 17 special meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.

“The building, on the whole, really is not in a bad state of repair,” he said.

But a variety of conditions on the structure’s northwest corner -- including moisture intrusion along the foundation, settling of the ground, and bricks that were of inferior quality -- have caused movement, shifting, and cracking of the original section of the structure, which faces Third Street.

The courthouse, originally constructed in 1884, also includes two additions to the rear of the structure. Those additions, which include the county clerk’s office and the Texas AgriLife Extension Agency, have remained open following the partial condemnation of the building a year ago.

Thorn said remediation plans include excavating beneath the building’s foundation and stabilizing it to prevent any future movement. This will include removal and replacement of the weakest bricks on the northwestern and southwestern corners. Crews will attempt to blend in suitable brick that will complement those left behind.

In addition, the foundation will be repaired in 4-foot to 6-foot increments, in which workers will remove and replace small sections of the foundation until it is fully replaced. Then vertical legs will be installed above the foundation, starting from the point where the current foundation has become “one with the earth,” Thorn said.

To alleviate drainage issues, Thorn said a French drain will be installed along the northern portion of the structure. He also suggests replacing sections of floor, as needed, and replacing most -- if not all -- of the building’s windows.

Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney said the exact course of action the county will choose will be dependent upon the courthouse’s planned future use. Since the building’s partial condemnation, his office and those for the county attorney, district clerk, elections, and hot checks division have operated in the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III. The county began renting the building after it evacuated the courthouse, with the commissioners voting to purchase the site earlier this year.

Securing the courthouse’s envelope and foundation so that it might again be occupied is among the financial challenges that will face the county in the 2013 fiscal year. Also during the Sept. 17 meeting, the commissioners discussed the budget and tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year. See related article, above.

 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
September 26, 2012 10:07am
 
Use the old courthouse for our new library. Wouldn't that be beautiful? They are raising money to build a new library anyway ...

 
BSP  
Floresville  
September 26, 2012 7:59am
 
I'm surprised at how many people posted about tearing the court house down. It is one of the very few beautiful buildings in Floresville. A symbol of what craftsmanship once was. And given the recent decisions of our public ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
September 25, 2012 4:06pm
 
Yes, obliterate history. Tear it down and replace it with something new. Most don't learn from history any longer so who needs it. Make the same mistakes all over again. Wipe out the memories of those who created what we enjoy ... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
September 25, 2012 8:07am
 
I agree with Extraordinaire. Time to move on to something practical. We have enough history. think about the taxpayers for a change!

 
Rabble Rouser Extraordinaire  
Adkins, TX  
September 25, 2012 7:37am
 
Historic Smoric...looks like any of the other 253 Courthouses that are in rural areas. Other than this one is delapidated! It does not have a huge footprint...$1.5M would demolish and fund a nice "21st Century" ... More ›

 
retiredinlavernia  
lavernia  
September 20, 2012 3:40am
 
I vote to repair this historic building - History should be valued. I visited the building the first time five years ago when I was called for jury duty and spent the breaks walking around the building and admiring it and it's ... More ›

 
Webmaster  
Floresville  
September 19, 2012 4:00pm
 
Video posted.

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
September 19, 2012 3:04pm
 
Come on FEDC, this is a much better project. This is the Courthouse, a historical building. We are the County Seat. Let's take pride in our downtown!!!!!

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
September 19, 2012 1:44pm
 
Instead of a sports complex, ... a new courthouse???

 
Juan Two  
September 19, 2012 1:26pm
 
Tear it down that would be a great place to build a new one since the county already owns the land. 1.5 million would be a great down payment on a new upgraded facility!

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