Out With the Old Courthouse

McKinney begins to demolish old Collin County Courthouse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    The old Collin County Courthouse has gotten the death penalty.

    The old Collin County Courthouse has gotten the death penalty.

    The building where residents once sought justice is under demolition.

    "We got 90 days to do the whole project, and we'll probably beat that by 15, 20 days or so," said Jake Lindamood, of Lindamood Demolition.

    Since purchasing it for millions from the county, McKinney spent nearly $1,000 per day to keep the building powered and prevent it from becoming an environmental hazard with mold and mildew inside.

    Originally, the city planned to turn the building into McKinney's new city hall. Then there was talk of recruiting a college campus to offer courses there.

    "Unfortunately the building didn't work out, but I think we can make it bigger and better than it was ever originally meant to be," said Rick Chaffin, interim city manager.

    The 110-foot tall iron structure was built for safety and longevity which made it too expensive to renovate.

    The good news is that the nine acres of land the court sits on is prime real estate.

    "It's proximity to Highway 5, proximity to the airport, proximity to a couple blocks of a very, very vibrant downtown -- so it's an amazing site," Chaffin said. "It's a great investment."

    McKinney leaders would still like to build a new municipal center near downtown but the old courthouse site isn't only location.

    Because of the economy, the city is years away from making a decision about how to use the land. In the meantime, the city will listen to private offers and possibly try to lure a business relocate its headquarters.

    In the meantime, McKinney plans to clear the debris from demolition and make the area a green space like a park.