San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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May 3rd, 2010
Hays County breaks ground on new Government Center


The long-awaited consolidation of Hays County government offices in the San Marcos area is finally underway. On April 30, 2010, Hays County broke ground on its new 232,000-square-foot Government Center, designed to accommodate many of the offices currently located throughout the area.

This is especially good news for those county offices currently located in the Justice Center on MLK, a “temporary” building used for more than 10 years. It currently houses many more people than intended and presents safety and security risks to employees and the public doing business there. The consolidation will also provide a one-stop location for the public and relieve the county of much of its out-dated rental space while providing an opportunity for economic re-development in the downtown San Marcos area.

The complex is being built on a land acquired from Carson Properties after a heated site selection process between developers in 2007. The county swapped 10 acres in owned on IH-35, the site of the old hospital, for 26 acres near Wonder World Drive. The county also bought five adjoining acres from Carson Properties for $217,000, half its appraised value; the Carsons contributed four more acres as part of the deal.

In remarks at last week’s groundbreaking ceremony, Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, who led efforts to build the government center for about a decade, thanks the Carsons for being “civic-minded.”

The new Government Center at 710 S. Stagecoach Trail in San Marcos is expected to be completed in December 2011 and to provide offices for District Courts, County Court-at-Law, District Attorney, Compliance/Collections, Adult Probation, County Clerk, District Clerk, Juvenile Probation, Treasurer, Auditor, Tax Assessor-Collector, Justice of the Peace, Human Resources, Information Technology, Elections, Constable and Sheriff.

The three-story building will include state-of-the-art secure courtrooms and is designed for energy efficiency and future growth. The building has a total project cost under $66 million. The county has issued $71.2 million in certificates of obligation at under 5 percent interest to pay for the building, and will also use money it has been setting aside in a capital improvement budget line item to help pay for the building.

The county is working with project managers Broaddus & Associates and the design-build team of Balfour Beatty-HDR.

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