By DAN EAKIN
The long-awaited $9 million Precinct 3 Government Center opened to the public this past Tuesday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony held Friday afternoon.
Several government officials made brief comments at the ribbon cutting.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell said, “It’s an exciting day in Denton County to celebrate the much anticipated grand opening of the Precinct 3 Government Center.”
She recognized and thanked dozens of county, state and city officials who were present for the occasion.
State Rep. Ron Simmons presented Mitchell with a Certificate of Appreciation and a flag which he said had flown over the state capitol building in Austin.
Following about 45 minutes of brief speeches from more than a dozen officials who attended, the crowd went outside to cut the ribbon.
Funds for the construction of the new government center were approved by voters in a $495 million bond package in 2008. That package, which included funds for several buildings and road improvements all over the county, called for a slight increase of less than one cent per $100 valuation in county taxes.
The new building means more room for several county offices which previously had been housed across the street in two smaller buildings, and a county clerk’s office which had not previously been located in Lewisville.
Offices in the new building are those of the county commissioner, constable, justice of the peace, tax assessor-collector, veterans services, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Community Supervision and Corrections.
In addition to more space in each office than at the previous locations, many of those waiting in line to get a driver’s license or take care of other business with the Texas Department of Public Safety will now get to sit in chairs rather than stand in line. However, the lines have been so long this past week that some are still standing outside in the upstairs hallway before getting to go inside where the chairs are.
The structure is being referred to as a two-story building. However, the elevator buttons show there are actually three floors.
Pct. 3 County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell said the third floor is now being used for storage, but can be used for office space if needed in the future.
Also, there is much more parking space available around the new building than there was at the two previous locations.
An information sheet provided at the ribbon cutting ceremony states:
“The 41,934 square–foot facility’s exterior is highlighted by a grand front porch clad in cast stone, with the remainder of the building in a traditional palette of brick and cast stone accents.
“The building is punctuated by arched windows and a colonnade along the ground level of its front face. In keeping with the public nature of the structure, it is capped with a bronze colored standing seam metal roof.”
The building was constructed by Ratcliff Constructors with the Eikon Consultant Group as the prime consultant.
Precinct 3 encompasses 98 percent of Lewisville, some of Flower Mound and all of Highland Village, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek.
Precinct 4, with Andy Eads as commissioner, will soon get a new one–story government center.
Work is now underway on the new center at the intersection of FM 1171 and State Highway 377 in far west Flower Mound. Precinct 4 includes most of Flower Mound and Denton, and all of Roanoke, Trophy Club, Argyle, Justin, Dish and Krum.