You will be happy to know the renovation of the Dallas County Records Building complex in downtown Dallas is within budget and on time..
We are slightly more than halfway through the four-year, $200 million project. When the new complex opens in the summer of 2020, Dallas County residents will have a one-stop complex at which they can access all county services.
About 600 employees now housed in three separate buildings will be waiting to serve you in one contiguous, beautifully restored facility that will be tens of thousands of square feet larger than the current complex.
Phase One (Design Development)
Before the first nail was removed from the existing complex, I developed the idea of a Building Study Committee, to be appointed by Dallas County commissioners.
This committee, comprising five people expert in the areas of construction, real estate and finance, examined the buildings involved in the project and recommended the renovations and new construction that would best serve county taxpayers.
Next, the project’s architects designed what the new complex will look like. They also began dismantling certain components of the building (windows, railings, etc.), taking care to document and set aside those deemed architecturally or historically significant.
Artifacts discovered during this take-down phase of the project will reappear in a public museum scheduled for the new complex’s ground floor.
Phase Two (Demolition)
The project is now well into its second (demolition) phase. Entire floors (which did not line up from one building to the next) are being removed. That way, the patchwork of buildings that made up the complex in the past can be more seamlessly connected.
The construction team tells me 2019 will be a key year for the project, in that it’s when we will also see the greatest change to the exterior of the building.
Phase Three (Finish Out)
Once the demolition phase is completed later this year, the project will enter its third and final stage – the finish-out. The construction crew will introduce more level floors, more energy-efficient lighting, etc. Also, some of the preserved architectural features will get reinstalled, so future generations can view and appreciate them.
A Win-Win for Dallas County and Its Residents
As the county commissioner chosen to lead this project, I am very excited to see its progress. We could have located the new Records Building complex anywhere in Dallas County. We thought it best, however, to restore these historical buildings and to anchor these jobs for years to come in the heart of downtown Dallas.
The county has a AAA bond rating we’ve not used for 35 years. By using bonds to finance the complex’s renovation, we will not need to raise taxes for that purpose. So the project turns out to be a win-win for all of us in Dallas County.
I will update you on how this project is proceeding in the coming months. I look forward to welcoming all of you to a new Commissioners’ Court, and other county-government features, in 2020!
Dr. Elba Garcia
Dallas County Commissioner, District 4