FLORENCE — Pinal County government services will be a lot closer for thousands of western Pinal residents in a few months as new county office buildings come online.
The new San Tan Valley complex at 31505 N. Schnepf Road will offer neighbors something they’ve typically had to travel out-of-town for — a public library. Including a library was something of a last-minute decision for that building, but “we were able to accommodate that relatively easily,” Deputy County Manager Himanshu Patel said in an interview with PinalCentral.
Other county offices aren’t settling for less to make room for the library. The building already included room for future growth, “so we just reprogrammed it,” Patel said. County staff worked with the architect to create a large open area, plus some work spaces and program areas for the library, which will be operated by the Pinal County Library District.
Other county offices in the complex will be for the sheriff, recorder, assessor, treasurer, development services, adult and juvenile probation officers, and others. The building is set to be finished at the end of February.
Finished at about the same time or sooner will be the new two-story Development Services building in Florence. With that building’s completion, about 75% of the old Building F will be demolished for parking spaces. The remainder of the old building will be remodeled for a new Pinal County Emergency Operations Center and public hearing room.
This six-month remodeling project will begin in March after Development Services staff are in the new building. Between the new EOC and the new Development Services will be a new pedestrian courtyard made possible by the closure of a section of Florence Street, Patel said.
The Maricopa complex, in that city’s Heritage District, recently experienced a one-week delay “but we’re back on track” and the building is set for completion in late March, Patel said. The contractor is aiming for a May 30 completion date on the new five-story Pinal County Attorney’s Office next to the courthouse on Jason Lopez Circle in Florence.
These new office buildings are being paid for by a $63 million bond issue the Board of Supervisors approved in 2019. The bonds are being repaid over a 30-year period so that future taxpayers will share in the cost.
As the county prepares to equip and staff these new buildings, it is working to get out from under an aging one. The county is looking to sell its complex on Central Avenue in Florence, the former county hospital that was later used for Public Health offices and Justice Court. The Public Defender’s Office remains there today. “It’s important for us to get a good handle on what the town would like to see there as well as how it could benefit the community,” Patel said.