by Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - In April of 2010, renovations are expected to be completed on the Heritage Building Downtown off the corner of Main and Michigan St.
"It's a wonderful facility the county and all it's residents can be very proud of when it's complete," Alan White, President and Co-Owner of Mid-Tex of Midland, said.
The new facility will feature plenty of conference and jury rooms, 12 court rooms, over 500 parking spaces, and lots of windows.
"From top to bottom, the entire building will be opened up," White said.
One of the unique features about the building is the additional security. Prisoners can come and go without ever being seen by the public. They even have their own elevator.
"We only work for the public and the public has told us many times over they have difficulty with the current courthouse. They don't like the cramped quarters. They don't like sitting in a hallway with someone from another trial down the hall. It enables government to work more efficiently and answer those needs the public has asked for," Midland County Judge Michael Bradford said.
And it is the public who footed the bill.
Over the past several years, the sales tax from Midland County residents was set aside for expansion.
When the Heritage property became available, they paid 7 million dollars in cash.
Mid-Tex of Midland contractors will renevate the building for 19.9 million dollars.
"There is going to be a lot of light, it's going to be a much cleaner look than they're in right now, it's almost a dungeon effect where they are now. This is just going to be a nicer facility to conduct business in for the county."
County officials say this new facility will accomodate the community for years to come.
"This is not a five year fix, this is, perhaps, a 40 year fix," Bradford said.