FLORENCE — Pinal County’s new two-story Development Services building, replacing the old “Building F” that was once a jail, opened with a ribbon cutting on May19.

“This building is way overdue, I’m so glad we finally built it,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, told the crowd assembled for the ribbon cutting. He said getting around the old building was so confusing, “I left bread crumbs to find my way out.”

County Manager Leo Lew said that’s because it was originally designed to keep people in, rather than help them conduct their business and get out. Building F was built as a jail in 1977 when the county’s population was less than 90,000, Lew said. The old building nearby was being demolished as employees and guests toured the new one on May 19.

The new $13 million building at 85 N. Florence St. houses staff from Community Development, Public Works, Air Quality and Open Space and Trails, who have been located in Building F since 2000, as well as staff from the civil division of the County Attorney’s Office. The lobby is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for Development Service requests.

At this time, appointments are required. To book an appointment, call 520-866-6442. For more information, visit www.pinalcountyaz.gov/CommunityDevelopment.

The building is one of three new county facilities to open in quick succession. Last month, a county government office building opened in San Tan Valley. Next week, a similar complex will open in the city of Maricopa.

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Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at mcowling@pinalcentral.com.