Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson walks through a hallway in the Texas County Jail. (file photo)

A $10 million project to create a county justice center will soon be completed with the move of the county sheriff’s department and Texas County Jail. The effort, financed through two, half-cent sales taxes, is the largest governmental construction project ever completed in Houston.

Offices associated with the courts system moved into the building last month. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted in early November. The structure is situated at Grand Avenue and Spruce Street on property that in early years housed a dairy operation owned by the Christie family. Today, the new building covers about 61,500 square foot and handles all court, juvenile matters and other functions related to the administration of justice in Texas County.

A ground-breaking ceremony occurred in 2006 and construction began in the summer of 2007 after the county sold revenue bonds totaling about $15 million that were earmarked for the building, equipment and renovation of what was known as the Texas County Courthouse. The building was renamed as the Texas County Administrative Center and remodeling of that building will begin this year.

Occupancy will be complete at the justice center when law enforcement operations move next month. The number of beds for prisoners will jump to 72, about three times the current capacity. The expanded quarters will allow the county to keep its inmates in the county rather than ship them to other locales because of a lack of space.

A special souvenir section on the justice center appears in this week’s Herald

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