Renovation plans for the old county courthouse were discussed at a county commissioners walk-through May 16.

Commissioners considered which departments would move into the building, what physical changes such as moving walls were needed, and when work could begin.

“We definitely made progress,” County Judge Jakie Allen said.

All of the discussions were preliminary.

The courthouse was emptied in December when the courts and departments housed there moved to the new Kaufman County Justice Center.

After renovations, the county judge’s office and the Precinct 1 commissioner’s office will be housed in the old courthouse. And commissioners will meet in a former courtroom.

Commissioners court currently meets in the annex across the street.

Other departments moving in will be development services, the fire marshal, historical services, and human resources. Others may move in as well, but that has not been decided, Allen said.

Department representatives went on the building tour with commissioners.

“I think it was good for them to be there so they could get an idea of what’s going on,” Allen said.

There is $7.5 million from the 2019 bond package available for the renovations, but Allen said commissioners hope to spend less.

“We’ll be taking bids to save the taxpayers some money,” Allen said.

Work on a new roof will begin in June and commissioners hope to have building construction underway by the end of the summer.

The county will be working with the Texas Historical Commission to preserve the building, which is considered historical.

Over the years offices and hallways have been added and the building is like a maze. Some of those additions will be removed and bring the interior closer to the original layout, Corder said.

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