Dade City residents will get their first official peek inside their new City Hall at a ribbon cutting on March 11 at 10:30 a.m.
City employees and law enforcement officers, however, are already getting accustomed to the new, 22,000-square-foot building. They moved in about three weeks ago.
“We’ve gotten settled in,” said Gordon Onderdonk, the city’s public works director.
Now, it’s the public’s turn to explore the new seat of city government, and the headquarters for the Dade City police department.
Ribbon-cutting festivities will include a performance by the Pasco High School Band, as well as speeches by guest speakers, a flag raising and a rendition of the national anthem. Those attending will be able to go on guided tours of the complex, and refreshments will be served.
Wannemacher Jensen Architects created a design for two separate buildings that are joined by an entryway canopy and a courtyard. One side of the complex houses city offices; the other is headquarters for the Dade City police force.
In preparation of the celebration, the Dade City Commission approved the temporary closure of Meridian Avenue from Fifth Street to the U.S. 98 Bypass from 8 a.m. to noon on March 11.
Construction on the new City Hall began in March 2015 on the site of the old building.
In the 1920s, developers planned a hotel at the location, but that was never completed.
During the Depression, the building found new life as a federal work project and served as the hub of city government for decades.
Through the years, city agencies outgrew the space and moved into other buildings.
During construction, some City Hall employees were relocated to an annex building and to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot on U.S. 98 at U.S. 301.
Consolidating offices in one building will make it easier for people to do business with the city, Onderdonk said.
“This is one-stop shopping for them to take care of everything. It’s all in the same building and will be convenient,” he said.
The city’s police department vacated its previous location on Pasco Avenue.
The new facility has typical features of a police department, including interview rooms, holding cells, a booking area, a special area for the K-9 unit and a conference room. But, there also is new and upgraded technology.
The city commission chamber also will benefit from technology upgrades, including a projector screen that will make it easier to observe meetings.
The approximately $5.9 million budget for the building’s construction came from the countywide Penny for Pasco program and the city’s reserve fund.
Published March 2, 2016