A building on Texas Avenue that has had the Bryan school district’s name on it for decades will have a new owner in Brazos County.
Following a brief executive session Monday, the school district approved the sale of the Travis Education Support Center — the former administration building — at 101 N. Texas Ave. The Brazos County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the purchase of the building for $2,388,000 — including a $10,000 check for earnest money — during its Nov. 2 meeting.
The building is located across Texas Avenue from the Brazos County Courthouse. County Judge Duane Peters said he felt the county needed to move on purchasing the building to have it available to meet the county’s needs as it continues to grow.
“I think this is a forward-looking project,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Nancy Berry said during the Nov. 2 commissioners court meeting. “This county is growing, and I think getting more land in Downtown Bryan across from the courthouse, this will meet our needs well into the future, and really appreciate the forethought of the court on this issue.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Russ Ford agreed the purchase made sense for the county, but requested the county update its needs assessment before determining a long-term use for the new property.
Peters said the long-term use for the former administration building will be determined later, but in the interim the county can use it to store election equipment and bulk-ordered items.
“My goal would be to make sure that we didn't start a remodel until we kind of had a focus on what the needs really are, and then if we do a remodel in there, then we’ll remodel it according to what the needs are rather than going to spend money and maybe it's not useful,” Peters said after the Nov. 2 meeting.
Mark McCall, president of the Bryan school board, said it is a relief to see the building go to a community partner that will get good use out of it, just as the school district did.
Bryan Interim Superintendent Ginger Carrabine said in a press release the district was “thrilled” when the county expressed interest in the building.
“This building is in a great location, especially with all of the growth in Downtown Bryan,” she said. “It served our community for decades as the Bryan ISD Administration Building, and now will continue to serve the community as Brazos County expands.”
The school district owned the building more than a year longer than anticipated, McCall said, when a previous buyer backed out of the purchase right as the COVID-19 pandemic began. The sale came at the right time, he said, because the district was getting close to needing to put more maintenance money into the building before selling it, not knowing if the future buyer would tear down the building or leave it standing.
The sale also honors a commitment the school district made to the community, he said, to sell the building after transitioning into its current administration building at 801 S. Ennis St. in 2018.