PHOTO / DIANE COSGROVE
Medina County’s newest acquisition is the building across the 14th Street from the Elections Office. The building has had multiple uses over the years, including to house South Texas Press operations.
During the weekly COVID-19 briefing conducted for local media Monday by Medina County Judge Chris Schuchart and County Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Lutz, the judge offered a construction update on the county annex. He said the pad is built and framing is in progress for the foundation.
Regarding the jail annex, he said, “We have a meeting Thursday (today) in commissioners court, to hopefully approve the maximum amount it will cost us to build it. Once that’s approved, we hope they’ll be able to break ground in the next two to three weeks.
“Also, on May 15, we purchased the building across the street, which was the old South Texas Press building, for $700,000. This Thursday, we’ll go out for bids to do a remodel on it, so we can move the district attorney, the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program and the Medina County Health Unit into those offices, hopefully in the next six months.”
The current WIC / health unit building is adjacent to the hospital, the only structure on that block that is not currently hospital-owned. The judge said the hospital has always wanted to buy the building.
The DA’s office is west of the hospital block, and just north of Medina Healthcare System’s specialty clinic.
“The old press building came up for sale, and it just made sense for us to sell (the WIC and DA’s Office) buildings. The DA will be right across the street from the courthouse, rather than across town, and the building fits for all three agencies to move in. Everyone will be located either out by the sheriff’s office or by the annex, and there will be more room,” he said.
“It’s a good move for all of us, because we can get other people to help pay for it. The State of Texas will pay for the WIC’s remodel, and the sale of the DA’s office will pay for his remodel,” Schuchart said. “We’ll have about 10,000 sq. ft. of nearly-new office space. It will cost us a net of about $200,000 to $300,000.”