Dallas County’s openly gay District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons is hoping the Commissioners Court starts looking into a plan to replace the Frank Crowley Courts Building.
Fitzsimmons points to several flaws in design and layout of the building, as well as faulty hardware and cracking floors in a Dallas Morning News story.
But the estimated cost for a new building is $665 million, a price tag commissioners aren’t sure how they want to pay to replace the 24-year-old structure. Especially since more than $9 million is expected to be spent on repairs and renovations through 2016.
Fitzsimmons doesn’t expect the court to come up with a plan immediately, but he wants them to start thinking about how to solve the problems the building has had, including access points after a woman snuck into a jury room to address juror earlier this year and caused a mistrial.
“Travis County spent five to seven years studying a new Justice Center to meet the needs of the courts and voters approved $340 million in bonds to fund it,” Fitzsimmons wrote on Facebook above a link to The DMN story. “Travis enjoys a AAA S&P rating so this is not pie-in-sky. This is Dallas — we think big here and live large and I believe we should settle for nothing less than the finest court facilities and system in the state.”
Fitzsimmons, who was first elected in the Democratic sweep of 2006, is up for re-election in 2014.