Work on courthouse could begin next week

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Major work is being planned next week on the Potter County courthouse.

This marks the beginning of a 660 day completion plan, due to be finished August 31, 2011.

The various contractors should start showing up next week to begin the process.   Mike Head has a massive book of plans on his construction desk that shows in detail what the changes will be to the Potter County Courthouse. "We had a balcony that had been covered up for many years. We've uncovered it so that will be very unusual to see. Whenever we get all the windows restored you'll be able to look in from Taylor Street into the building and see the grand chandelier."

He's set up a makeshift office in the old Library, and he gave us a short tour of the Courthouse to show us some changes.  He says, "Currently on the first floor the vault door was one of the original recordkeeping vaults in the building. One unique thing that we've done is move all Commissioners Court operations to the first floor. This right here will be the entry to the new Commissioners Court that will be on the ground level."

The County signed over the rights to the building to the Texas Historical Commission. They now will approve all changes. One change approved is the removal of the tank.  For awhile it seemed the Marine and Naval Reserve on T-Anchor Boulevard would take it.  Not so.

Head says, "The Naval Reserve had contacted him back and stated that they no longer want it out there."  So the tank is still looking for a home.

The project will cost about 14-million dollars. Mike head says an additional one-point-six million will be needed to move a lot of the county back to the courthouse from the Santa Fe building.