Tarrant County College to move offices to Trinity River Campus

FORT WORTH -- Tarrant County College officials plan to spend about $715,000 to renovate and furnish a floor of the Trinity River Campus to accommodate administrative offices now at the other end of downtown.

On Thursday night, TCC trustees agreed to retrofit the former RadioShack space to accommodate about 80 employees working in leased space at Water Gardens Place and in the college district's administrative offices in the May Owen Center, 1500 Houston St.

Trustees voted 6-0 to approve a $502,000 contract with Phillips May Corp. of Dallas for renovations. In a separate 5-1 vote, the board approved $213,107.57 for furniture and related systems.

The project is expected to cut costs, said Mark McClendon, vice chancellor for finance. The district expects to save about $250,000 annually by ending the lease at Water Gardens Place.

Trustee Kristin Vandergriff said the board has long discussed moving employees to the Trinity River Campus. It's a good time to act because the lease is ending, and the district has a good sense of enrollment trends, she said.

Before the votes, Trustee O.K. Carter asked that the items be pulled from the consent agenda for discussion.

"I don't know if half a million is a good price," Carter said of the construction contract.

Other trustees agreed to move the item to the regular agenda for discussion.

TCC bought the Trinity River Campus, at West Belknap and Henderson streets, from RadioShack for $238 million in 2008. Several blocks away is the $185 million, 148,000-square-foot Trinity River East Campus, which opened in August. It serves as the district's Center for Health Care Professionals.

In other business Thursday night, the board voted 6-0 to allow Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley to enter into an agreement for a land deal with Tarrant Regional Water District. TCC is to sell the water district 2.941 acres for $1.1 million.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675

Twitter: @dianestar