$144M San Antonio Federal Courthouse to Begin Construction

Construction on a new Federal Courthouse in San Antonio gets the green light.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

San Antonio Federal Courthouse
San Antonio Federal Courthouse

San Antonio—The U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure authorized funding for the General Services Administration’s (GSA) plans to construct a new federal courthouse in San Antonio for the Western District of Texas. This represents the final Congressional authorization GSA needed to start developing the Courthouse project.

“The design of our new federal courthouse has been in limbo for over a year so today’s approval means we can get back to work,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said in prepared remarks. “We are so grateful to our San Antonio delegation for all the work they did to secure such a necessary investment. We look forward to having a safe, modern and efficient federal facility in our downtown.”

The GSA plan allocates more than $144 million for the development of a new 305,000-square-foot courthouse with eight courtrooms and 83 inside parking spaces. The new facility will relocate the federal courthouse from its current location on the site of the former San Antonio Police Headquarters at 214 West Nueva St. The GSA now has authority to sign a new contract with local architects Lake Flato and Muñoz & Co., and work can begin on the project this week.

“With today’s vote in Congress, the federal judiciary will finally get a courthouse secure enough to safely handle cases against some of the hemisphere’s most dangerous criminals. In addition, this project will allow San Antonio to make solid progress on the redevelopment of downtown,” added Joe Krier, District 9 councilman & chairman of the City Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee. “We owe our gratitude to Senator John Cornyn, Congressmen Henry Cuellar and Will Hurd, and the rest of the Bexar County delegation for their hard work in securing funding for this important project.”

“This is a monumental milestone for San Antonio. It not only ensures the safety and security of the hundreds of employees who work at the facility, but also the tens of thousands of families that have already visited the revitalized children’s park (Yanaguana Garden) that opened last year right outside the current Courthouse building,” stated U.S. Representative Will Hurd, who played a key role in the more than five-year effort to secure the funding.

The building currently used as the federal courthouse of San Antonio was originally built to serve as a temporary structure for the United States Pavilion during the 1968 World’s Fair (“HemisFair”). The facility was renovated after HemisFair to operate as a federal courthouse and serves as headquarters for the Western District of Texas.

“The Wood Courthouse has kept the Western District going for nearly 50 years, but it unfortunately does not have the capacity to support it any longer,” commented Cuellar. “… Having a new, state-of-the-art federal courthouse for this busy federal judicial district will keep the users of the facility safe and will allow for better administration of justice.”

Renderings courtesy of Lake Flato