(Seguin) -- The future expansion of the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office is officially on its way. Recent action taken by the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court authorizes the county to begin working with architects for the future design of the new added space for the sheriff's office.
Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher says the building will be constructed and attached to the existing sheriff's office located at 2617 N. Guadalupe St. just north of Interstate 10.
"We entered into a contract with an architect for the expansion and renovation of the sheriff's office space. We are talking about a 20,000 square foot, two story expansion of office space on the sheriff's building out by the jail. This really is the first step in the process," said Kutscher.
Kutscher says after many discussions and comparisons of architectural firms, the county selected ThornGraves Architects to again head one of its projects. Kutscher says he believes ThornGraves, which has proven itself with the Justice Center, the Ag Building and the renovation of the courthouse, is more than capable to tackle yet another large capital project for the county and its taxpayers.
"We found that ThornGraves was best suited for this project not only because of the good quality product that they deliver and that we are familiar with at the county but because of their project oversight experience and their realistic approach to construction costs. We talked to some other very experienced architects from other
communities that have experience working on projects like that but their project construction cost estimates were so high and got to be so unrealistic that we felt like it was just way out of bounds compared to what ThornGraves presented and again, these weren't bids. These were just discussions on construction costs but that leads us to believe that it's going to go that way if you go with another architect so we know what product we are going to get. We have good response, good communication with ThornGraves but we also know that all of our other projects have been close to on time but always on budget and that was really important to us about this project," said Kutscher.
Kutscher says it's been a little over a year ago that the court laid out the funds and committed money in the budget for this particular project.
"We had a capital project's planning document that laid out multiple projects. I think that total sum was about $14.5 million. So we had some committed funds in our budget and then did the bonds for the expansion with tilt wall construction and two stories and elevator -- all that will probably be a good year -- year long or 12 month
construction once we start. I think we are probably looking at a three to four month planning and design phase and then selecting a contractor so we want to get going in 2018 and hopefully be a lot further along by summer but we need to take the time and involve all the parties involved so that we have a good design and good product to get out to the contractors," said Kutscher.
The growing sheriff's office for years has worked with little elbow room initiating a real need for this project. Kutscher says by providing this additional space, it will also allow for the relocation, reorganization and renovation of space at the current