Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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May 12, 2014

County buys CISD HQ

Corsicana — The Navarro County Commissioners took one more step towards the renovation of the historic courthouse when they approved Monday buying the Corsicana ISD administration building and former Austin school house.

Last week, the CISD trustees OK’d the sale for $350,000. The county will use the buildings for offices when the courthouse is under renovation, and then as an annex when the renovation is done. Some offices, like those of adult probation, will stay at the annex permanently.

The courts and support offices, like the District Attorney and District Clerk, will move to the Navarro Center, the former Navarro Mall, down the corridor from Brookshire’s.

The move to the temporary quarters will take place in July or August, according to County Judge H.M. Davenport.

In a special meeting at 3 p.m., the commissioners had a conference call with the bond manager, who advised them on the sale of the bonds to finance the overall project. The county is selling about $7 million in bonds, and they had hoped to be able to do a private sale with a local bank.

The county commissioners will still have to decide whether or not to take a private deal with either Prosperity Bank, which will mean changing interest rates every 7 years, taking a fixed rate with Capital One but only for 20 years, or taking a public sale of bonds, which will mean a slightly higher cost and take more time to get the cash. They took no action Monday.

It will take about a month to get the CISD buildings fixed up enough for the county employees, said Cody Muldner, project supervisor for the county.

At one point, the county had proposed building a new annex, possibly across from the jail, but that would have meant sacrificing some parking, and buying even more property. This allows them to have the buildings more quickly, and save that parking space.

Some of the preparation work for the renovation will start this week, as workers come in to start examining each of the courthouse windows and taking photos to make sure they’re restored accurately. The week of June 2, they’ll start doing the power washing and brick work on the exterior.

The school district will move out of the administration building after school releases on June 6.

A groundbreaking on the renovation project has been tentatively set for mid-afternoon on May 27.

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