Many residents not pleased with new County courthouse appearance

(Cartoon by local resident Colby Purcell) ROCKWALL – Many Rockwall County residents are clearly not pleased with the appearance of the new County Courthouse, currently nearing completion next to the County library.

Once the incorrect rumor began to fly last weekend about Commissioners possibly closing down the County library or cutting services to raise funds to pay for the completion of the courthouse, dozens of local residents sounded off on Facebook with their feelings about the nearly-completed four-story, domed building.

Adjectives used to describe it by angry residents at “Save the Rockwall County Library” include:  “pompous,” “arrogant,” “ridiculous,” “ostentatious,” “embarrassment,” “over-sized,” “huge,” “enormous,” “gaudy,” “ugly,” “weird” and “over-the-top.”

Nicknames such as “space nipple,” “temple” and “museum”and are being used for it.

No residents have made any positive comments about its appearance.

In addition, dozens of angry residents are making it clear they voted overwhelmingly to build the library where it is, but voted twice NOT to build the new courthouse where it is.

Ironically, after former County Judge Chris Florance was not re-elected last year because he led the effort to build the courthouse in its current location, its now newly-elected County Judge Jerry Hogan whom voters are angry with for mentioning outsourcing library services.

According to Hogan, and confirmed by other Commissioners, funds to complete the courthouse construction are already in place, and any outsourcing of library services will have nothing to do with the courthouse.

Dozens of those who have commented also appear angry with Commissioners for approving the appearance of the courthouse and are reminding readers to remember who is responsible for it on election day next year.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher




12 Responses for “Many residents not pleased with new County courthouse appearance”

  1. cr says:

    What part of “Judge Hogan had NOT been elected when this court house boondoggle was passed” do people NOT understand? He beat Judge Florence because of this but he’s still stuck with trying to make ends meet. THEY HAD ALREADY STARTED BUILDING THE COURT HOUSE WHEN HE WAS SWORN IN AS JUDGE. So stop blaming Judge Hogan. We also had passed 100 million in bonds for road construction. Our great growth was supposed to pay for them without a tax increase. Guess what? Growth STOPPED. We’re in trouble financially because of these two things, and both Judge Hogan inherited. He’s trying to deal with the lack of money. Put blame where blame is due on the past county court and commissioners. These current guys are cleaning up the mess left behind. Get your facts straight before bashing innocent people. I thank God we have Judge Hogan running our county. He’s doing all he can to help us remain solvent.

  2. Cheryl says:

    The new courthouse is yet another example of attempts to impress while spending taxpayer money. What is needed is not a shrine to county government, but an exhibition of fiscal restraint in these times of economic hardship. The building is an eyesore that will be with us for the remainder of our lives as Rockwall residents. Those passing through on I-30 will only chuckle at the grandiosity and pomposity of the design. We deserved better.

  3. cr says:

    Many public buildings built in the last 50 years have NO style. It’s as if the architect is expressing himself with public money. Our ancesters somehow knew that “less is more” and gave us beautiful public buildings. Simple lines and balance along with beautiful windows and doors plus nice trees and lawns make a building something to cherish.

    Judge Hogan is in NO way responsilbe for this boondoggle. Bruce Beatty, Jerry Wimpee, Judge and Chris Florence cooked up the scheme to build the court house. A few points – they had the fire marshall say that our current court house is unsafe therefore paving the way for them to issue General Obligation Bonds (used for emergencies) and overriding the people’s twice NO vote. Magness voted no but was up for re-election and they didn’t need his vote. I would ask him what, if any, words he uttered publically against moving against the wishes of the people and forward to build this monster. I don’t think there were any. Then Dennis Bailey was elected and he quickly joined in to get the construction going. Grinnan did not participate and was clearly told to sit down and shut up when she wanted public input.

    So if the current court house is so very unsafe, how and why have we been using it daily now for three years since it was deemed unsafe?

    After spending 37.5 MILLION to build this courthouse, there are floors that will not be completed because we have no more money. Imagine the cost to heat and cool this monster. I hope the voting public along with the CIP committees that dream up giant swimming pools, not a stadium redo but a new stadium, professional theatre arts theatres, professional kitchens for teenagers to learn culinary arts costing hundreds of thousands of dollars all, will rein in the spending. We can barely afford to operate this things and they are wants not needs. The city might be coming out with a mere 50 million new bonds this fall…..

  4. Ronald Reagan says:

    Whether it is gaudy, ugly, the giant nipple dome or some other moniker, the real issue is ‘In addition, dozens of angry residents are making it clear they voted overwhelmingly to build the library where it is, but voted twice NOT to build the new courthouse where it is’

    This building was not only voted down TWICE it was rammed down the throats of the people by the communishers by using what amounts to a trick play. The entire group of them should be ashamed by their actions as their promise to serve the people was ignored. Their Mama’s should be ashamed for them.

    They all need to go as they cannot be trusted to do anything for the people after the ploy to get what they wanted after the PEOPLE said NO…not once but TWICE.

    I am wishing for nothing but major malfunctions once the building is complete.


  5. Fonzey says:

    This was all decided before Judge Hogan. Magness needs to go.

  6. cr says:

    If we were going to build a court house, it did need to be attractive and special. But this thing has NO style – it’s a mixture of columns and golden domes and is built by the interstate with not a tree in sight looking at the gosh ugly football stadium. No citizen input was sought or accepted. Look up which judge and commissioners were responsible for this boondoggle. All but one is gone now. This is what happens when politicians think they know more than the people who elected them. That court house is what arrogance looks like. Being broke, higher taxes, and cutting services is what happens to taxpayers when elected representatives don’t represent.

  7. James says:

    It looks terrible from I-30. It looks like a giant monument to government largess. It is embarrassing and very much out of place in Texas. It is more fitting for a place up north where large governement is worshipped.

    Jerry Hogan should be personally sued for pushing this government behemoth into our fair burg.

  8. Beeman says:

    Jason, I agree with what said but remember the school board also built the monstrous football stadium next store after it had been initially voted down but then approved when packaged with building elementary schools. Of course I understand that Royse City did have a bigger stadium at the time…

  9. dorich says:

    I thought we had a capitol……last time I checked it was in Austin…..leave it there!!!

  10. Jason says:

    It doesn’t fit in with the Rockwall personality. There is money in Rockwall, but it is not flaunted to such a degree. And to build something like that while the schools are struggling, does not show good judgement. I realize the money comes from different places, but it plays poorly on public opinion and the faith in our local government.

  11. Aaron says:

    I think it looks fine. It stands out a little by why shouldn’t it. It’s one of the primary government buildings of the County. When everything is developed over in that area you’ll probably hardly notice it. You think the people in Austin were bitching about the State Capitol Building when it was built in the center of a urban area. If it looked like the library it would have been dated before it was even finished.

  12. Judy says:

    It it so ugly and looks out of place in Rockwall…who thunk this one up??

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