EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Old Hidalgo County Courthouse closed on Wednesday and will now be extending to Thursday.
The temporary closure is due to the air conditioning system not working properly.
With temperatures near 100 degrees, it would be difficult to hold a trial or conduct other legal business. At the same time, a brand-new courthouse still sits empty.
Judge Richard Cortez says a wreck in April did some major damage.
The air conditioning system was hit by a suspected drunk driver when the driver slammed his Ford F-150 into the equipment after crashing through an iron gate.
Cortez says the damage from that wreck likely led to the courthouse being closed for the day.
”I can tell you that the chiller was not functioning. As we know we had an accident there, a pick-up, a driver with a pick-up ran into the chiller. We think this is the problem we’re having with it,” Cortez said.
He says a replacement has been found and workers are installing it. A security worker at the courthouse believes it is a set-back for a ton of people.
“Since it’s closed, I bet a lot of people are upset. Since they have like a court hearing or anything like that. So I’m pretty sure they are upset because they have to cancel everything,” Santiago Alvarez, a courthouse security worker said. “It’s been easy today. Because, in the past few days, it’s been really busy at the courthouse.”
After a series of delays, Cortez provided an update on the new Hidalgo County Courthouse.
“What we’re waiting for is the consultants that we hired to tell us all the things that still need to be done in the courthouse. We haven’t received that report,” he answered.
The new multi-million dollar courthouse was supposed to be open in January.
Cortez says that once a Houston engineering firm finishes its damage report, there will be a better idea of the opening date.