County commissioners voted Feb. 9 to approve a $1.85 million architecture and engineering contract with Houston-based firm Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville Inc. to design an addition to the county Justice Administration Center in Richmond.
Fort Bend County is set to build an approximately 105,000-square-foot building that will house offices for the district attorney, and district and county clerks as well as support spaces and a new lobby, according to Commissioners Court’s meeting documents. Architects expect construction will cost about $24 million, which will be funded by the county’s November bond referendum.
“We always knew this was going to happen, and the building was always designed to receive this addition,” County Director of Facilities Jamie Knight said.
The existing justice administration center was completed in 2009.
The addition will go on the east side of the center, and construction is scheduled to last from January 2017 until spring 2018. Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville were the original architects for the building.
The court voted 3-1 to approve the contract, with Precinct 1 Commissioner Richard Morrison casting the dissenting vote. Morrison said he voted against the contract because he did not have enough time to review the contract or meet with Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville Inc. before approving the agreement.
“I would at least like to meet the consultant,” he said. “I’ve never seen what the plans are, I’ve never discussed with them what they’re going to do.”
Knight said he informed the commissioners about the contract in January. He said that the firm was selected for the work because of its history with the original project.
“In a project like this where you’re continuing a project, it makes sense to use the same architect,” he said.