“ 'It is going to be Edinburg. It makes no sense to move it anywhere else. We have already invested over $30 million in buildings and properties in surrounding areas. What are we going to do with them? No, it is going to be Edinburg,' Garcia said."
In an earlier blog post, I discussed the problem: the current Hildalgo County courthouse is too small and outdated for this rapidly growing population of this south Texas county.
"In a power point presentation by Eli Ochoa, president and CEO of ERO Architects, the new courthouse was positioned in the parking lot opposite the current courthouse. Brian Godinez, one of the principals in the courthouse
master plan project, told the Guardian that a new courthouse, measuring 289,000 square feet, would likely be eight stories high. The current construction costs for the new courthouse are estimated to be $55 million."
There's also the issue of what to do with the existing "international style" courthouse.
According to the article, "Wednesday’s meeting also included discussion on whether the current county courthouse, which was built in the 1950s, could be demolished. Committee members were told the current courthouse is listed as an historic site and that getting approval to tear it down is next to impossible. 'The Texas Historical Commission has already made us aware that it would be a violation of state law for us to tear it down so we are not even going to get involved in that. We are going to work towards remodeling it and renovating it,' Garcia said."
Thank goodness the State of Texas now has a statutory means of "preserving" county courthouses! Even the so-called modern courthouse buildings should be maintained in the interest of historic continuity. Stay tuned for the Hidalgo County story...