Tarrant County favors renovation option for law enforcement training center

The Tarrant County commissioners said Tuesday they favor renovating existing space to use as a center for training sheriff’s office employees.

The option favored by the commissioners and Sheriff Bill Waybourn involves an interior renovation of the sheriff’s office center at the Resource Connection in southwest Fort Worth.

Commissioner Manny Ramirez said the academy is operating out of 20,000 square feet, and the proposed renovation of 41,700 square feet would double its size.

He previously told the Star-Telegram that the building is worn down and not conducive to law enforcement training because of its lack of space.

Representatives from Fort Worth-based Komatsu Architecture presented commissioners with three options for the law enforcement training center at Tuesday’s commissioners court.

The first option was to renovating existing space, and the estimated cost for an interior renovation would be around $19.5 million. The plan would include six classrooms, offices and detention training.

A firing range could be added at a separate location and for an additional cost.

The other two options presented by Komatsu were new facilities, one attached to a building at Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus and the other a stand-alone building at the campus. They would cost around $35 million and $51.5 million.

The commissioners gave informal direction to proceed with the first option. At least $11 million of the funds would come from the American Rescue Plan, and county leaders only have until Dec. 1 to decide how that money will be spent.

A formal vote on law enforcement training center options is expected to take place in December when commissioners vote on the architectural services contract.

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