There were more details given out on what Fort Bend County facilities will be needed or renovated at Thursday’s workshop meeting of commissioner’s court.
County commissioners are looking at a $90 million bond proposal for new and upgraded facilities, but also including possible flood mitigation and mobility projects, the bond total could rise to as much as $233 million.
The bulk of the cost of the facilities comes from two projects: renovation of the juvenile detention center and construction of a new emergency operations center.
Commissioners, along with facilities management/planning director Jamie Knight, discussed the preliminary plans for the juvenile detention center, which will require an addition of 120,000 square feet for classrooms and office space.
The reason for the addition is that the center’s population has grown and continues to grow. Chief juvenile probation officer Kyle Dobbs said that the population from 2018 to today has 50 on an average day, but has risen to as many as 72 kids during that time period.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers was skeptical about building the addition. “I don’t see the need for another 100,000 square feet for 25 more kids,” he said.
But Knight said that renovations need to be made on the 25-year-old building, or the county would have to build another school in the future, dealing with rising construction costs.
The expansion to the juvenile detention center is expected to cost around $30.4 million.
A new emergency operations center would consist of a new 38,250-square-foot facility to hold the county offices of emergency management, the fire marshal and the hazmat response team.
Wright said that by moving the hazmat vehicle to another facility, the costs of the new center went down from $43 million to $16.9 million.
Other projects included in the facilities bond proposal are a new elections administration building, a new annex in Precinct 4, various improvement at different EMS stations across the county, a new office building and entrance at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, and a new animal services campus.
The bond proposal also includes a park and memorial where the remains of 95 African-American prisoners were discovered a year ago in Sugar Land. The cost of the memorial is at $2.7 million, but it is possible that Fort Bend ISD could share some of the costs.
Precinct 2 Grady Prestage also has various projects in the bond proposal, which cost around $25.5 million. Some of the projects include renovating the old Missouri City gymnasium, a football complex and a sports activity center which includes a natatorium. Prestage said that Fort Bend ISD may help with the costs of the natatorium.