Rising construction costs push new Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center facility price up by $2.5M

Commissioners plan to look for additional sources to fund the project after the second construction-induced cost jump this year. (Rendering courtesy Williamson County)
Commissioners plan to look for additional sources to fund the project after the second construction-induced cost jump this year. (Rendering courtesy Williamson County)

Commissioners plan to look for additional sources to fund the project after the second construction-induced cost jump this year. (Rendering courtesy Williamson County)

As a result of rising construction expenses, the cost to build a new Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center has increased by $2.5 million. The Williamson County Commissioners Court originally approved $5.5 million in 2019 for the project but added $1.8 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding in June, also because of construction costs.

Williamson County Facilities Director Dale Butler said during a Nov. 2 Commissioners Court meeting the increased cost, which now totals $9.8 million, comes after staff identified the best value bids for the project.

“We're back for a second time, unfortunately. Some unforeseen circumstances that we didn't have a crystal ball to foresee, but we're back for another $2.5 million to get this building built as it is designed today,” Butler said.

Commissioner Cynthia Long said that the court should also consider renovating the current facility, which Butler estimated would cost between $2.5 million-$3 million.

“My dilemma here is because we do have, not the ideal, but we do have an alternative that is a third of the cost to utilize,” Long said.


The WCCAC is temporarily being housed at 211 Commerce Blvd., Ste. 101, Round Rock, but the new facility would be on Wilco Way in Georgetown. The county owns the land of the current facility and provides maintenance services, county Public Affairs Manager Connie Odom said in an email.

WCCAC CEO Kerrie Stannel acknowledged the project cost is high and that the organization is willing to work with the county to find the right solution.

“Round Rock is not ideal because of where it's located because of the space around it,” Stannel said. “There's not outdoor space because of what else is located around it. It's very industrial, the other neighbors, etc.”

She added the proposed new space was intentionally designed to accommodate the services WCCAC provides, including forensic interviews and medical exams.

Butler said the county is locked into the $9.8 million total cost for 30 days, which will expire in late November.

The commissioners agreed to take up the item again later in November to try to identify additional sources of funding, including reaching out to cities in Williamson County.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.



MOST RECENT

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

curry pizza house chicken tikka
Indian-fusion pizza restaurant opening in Cedar Park

Curry Pizza House's menu includes traditional and Indian-fusion pizzas such as chicken tikka, curry chicken masala and tandoori chicken pizzas.

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
PEC members ask board to not raise solar rates

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

Lizzy and Brandon Simon are running the North Austin location. (Courtesy Lizzy Simon)
Operation Turkey to provide thousands in need with Thanksgiving meals

One local couple is running a North Austin site with the goal of serving 2,500 meals to those in need this Thanksgiving.

Williamson County officials met with Samsung executives at Dell Diamond in January. (Courtesy Williamson County)
For the love of the game: How baseball may have been perfect start for Samsung in Williamson County

The first attempt to bring Samsung to Williamson County relied on a passion for what is considered America’s pastime.

Capital Metro is still deciding if it will put the MetroRail Red Line above or below the North Lamar and Airport boulevards intersection. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with funding for one of Project Connect’s ‘most complex’ intersections

The North Lamar Boulevard and Airport Boulevard intersection will eventually have the Red, Blue and Orange lines running through it.