Commissioners call courthouse expansion to order with contract for preliminary designs

Alamance County’s board of commissioners has agreed to set aside $156,800 to have an architectural firm do some preliminary design work for a proposed expansion of the Judge J.B. Allen Jr. Court House in Graham.

During a regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners voted 5-to-0 to draw these funds from the county’s capital reserves in order to hire the firm CRA Associates to handle this prelude to a potential multi-million dollar renovation and enlargement of this county-owned building.

David Taylor, an associate with CRA, admonished the commissioners not to set their expectations too high about the initial results of his company’s labors.

“The contract that you have before you is to bring the project to a conceptual design level,” he added. You’re not going to see any beautiful renderings at this point.”

Taylor added that, as part of the scope of its contract, CRA will spend some time gathering information and interviewing officials in order to nail down the particulars of the forthcoming project. To this end, John Paisley, Jr., the chairman of Alamance County’s commissioners, offered an unsolicited suggestion to aid the architectural firm in its efforts.

“I’m thinking three or four stories at a minimum in order to grow,” he told Taylor before Tuesday’s unanimous vote in favor of the agreement.