In an article dated January 25, 2012, the Sweetwater Reporter states "Nolan County Commissioners announced their selection of an architect for the new county jail and courthouse improvements during their meeting on Monday morning, Jan. 23, 2012. Chosen for the project was the Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architect[s] firm, a Dallas-based company." According to its website "Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects specializes in the design of public facilities
and has an impressive client list of Municipalities and Counties across the country." Furthermore "Architecture is part of the public domain. Good architecture serves and enriches the lives of the people that move through and work in the spaces it creates. From its very inception in 1978, Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects has built in the public domain, and has placed service to its Clients as its primary focus." Sounds like they have the experience to handle this project. I sincerely hope the WHJA can truly "improve" the Nolan County courthouse.
By the way, WHJA's website also includes a new county courts building for Wise County. Here's a rendering:
Lastly, the WHJA website also includes the Upshur County Courts building but locates it in Port Lavaca, Texas.
My Texas map has Port Lavaca in Calhoun County and indicates Gilmer is the seat of Upshur County so I don't know which part of the WHJA indentification is incorrect, but I'll contact their office and find out.
The article goes on to acknowledge that "Although the additions, which were intended to be temporary, answered critical space shortages decades ago, they are now deemed aesthetically incompatible with the original building. They're also separating from the courthouse, requiring repairs and raising safety concerns."
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Eyesore-closer-to-coming-down-2879025.php#ixzz1mD8khEVV
This is indeed welcome news and a commendable use of the THC's grant program funds.
On the otherhand, news from the Texas panhandle wasn't so good. The Amarillo Globe News reported that "Three Texas Panhandle counties failed to get some of $21 million in courthouse restoration grants awarded Friday by the Texas Historical Commission." Apparently "Armstrong, Gray and Lipscomb counties each applied for the funds but did not earn a share of the pot."
For the record, "Grant awards were announced January 27, 2012 at the THC's quarterly commission meeting. Based on high overall ranking, seven construction and six emergency projects were awarded."
The seven counties receiving regular construction grants were Colorado, Franklin, Hardeman, Edwards, Bexar, Navarro, and Throckmorton.
The six counties receiving emergency grants were Mason, Marion, San Saba, Upshur, Cameron, and Polk.
The Amarillo newspaper article includes this information, “ 'We got 40 applications requesting more than $158 million, and we roughly have just $20 million (to give out),' said commission spokeswoman Debbi Head. 'Do the math, and you can see that there’s a great need.' ”