Travis County plans to hold two public hearings as it considers whether to partner with a private company to build its new civil and family courthouse.

According to county staff, the first public hearing is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 314 W. 11th St.

A second public hearing is expected to be scheduled for the first week of February.

At its Jan. 3 meeting, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted to contract with Ernst & Young LLP for consulting services at a cost of $425,000.

Ernst & Young will act as the county's advisory team for analyzing what is feasible when building the new courthouse, measuring more than 500,000 square feet in size, to be located at 308 Guadalupe St.

Roger Jefferies, Justice and Public Safety county executive, said that on Jan. 24, Ernst & Young will brief the court on the 21 responses the county received after putting out a request for information last June.

The responses are expected to include firms' ideas and experiences with public-private partnerships, also called P3s.

Jefferies said the entire deliberations will take about 11 or 12 weeks.

"We expect [Ernst & Young] to be done with their analysis by mid-March," he said.