HOK Begins Design on New Texas Courthouse

By CN Staff

AMARILLO, Texas—Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Architects (HOK) has begun architectural design services for the Potter County District Courthouse project in Amarillo, Texas.

Approximately $4 million for design development, construction and bid documents development

and contractor compliance will be provided to HOK by the Potter County Commissioners’ Court. This figure is consistent with the firm’s original estimate for architectural services.

Potter County’s Contract Specialist Chris Lonning said the biggest thing that needs to be looked at is that total compensation stays at just less than 8.5% because, “that is what we were looking at when we started talking. It can fluctuate, but we have a fixed budget that we need to come in at, and we can’t go over.”

In March, the county secured $54 million of the $64 million needed for the project, which includes replacing the district court’s venue as the first priority in the wake of a HVAC system, sewer, tiles and security issues.

County officials also discussed the possibility of providing an IT server room in the new building.

“We left a spot open for expansion and that is where the IT server room was going to be looked at,” explained Lonning. This will be an additional cost, but “it came in at the end, so that is something we can look at, with the two-by-two server rooms that we currently have.”

However, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mercy Murguia voiced her concerns and urged the Court to be wary of the server room status.

In addressing the Court about the project overall, Jeff Bradley, HOK vice president and co-global director of the company’s justice program, said, “As a firm in the state of Texas over the last 24 years, there’s not been another leadership team that has done as many courthouses. We have designed over 2,500 courtrooms in the last five years alone in our six justice design centers and we’re honored to be here.”

The design phase for this project began in June and should be completed by February 2020. Construction would most likely begin in April 2020 and be completed December 2021.