Miami Gardens held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new municipal complex, Thursday, July 12, in Miami Gardens. The facility will house city hall, the council chamber, and the police headquarters.
The city of Miami Gardens will honor its first mayor and one of its first councilmembers by naming the new city hall and police department in their honor.
Last week, Miami Gardens hosted a groundbreaking for the new, environmentally friendly city hall, named in honor of Mayor Shirley Gibson, and the new police department, named in honor of Vice Mayor Aaron Campbell Jr.
Campbell said he was pleasantly surprised when Miami Gardens Councilman Oliver Gilbert presented the resolution to name the police department in his honor at a city council meeting two months ago.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Campbell said. “It’s something that I didn’t expect.”
The complex includes a three-story, 63,000-square-foot city hall building, as well as an 8,500-square-foot council chambers building and a 67,000-square-foot police department headquarters, as well as a parking garage.
Miami Gardens currently rents out space to house city employees and conduct city business.
The new buildings will save the city more than half a million dollars annually, said Campbell.
“The current building cost the city $600,000 thousand to $700,000 in rent,” said Campbell.
Miami Gardens chose Skanska construction to take on the $42 million project. Project executive Steve Williams said the project will be LEED Platinum certified. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. Platinum is the highest LEED rating.
“That means we will have more elements of a green building in this project,” Williams said.
Williams said in the long run, tax payers will save money because of the energy conserving provisions such as a system that will reuse rain water for irrigation, solar panels for energy and the use of LED fixtures instead of florescent lighting.
“Many of the products being used are recycled products,” he said.
Gibson, who leaves office this year due to term limits, was beaming at the July 12 ground-breaking ceremony for the project.
The mayor, who helped spearhead the incorporation effort, said the free-standing city hall is a major milestones for Miami Gardens. The project is expected to be finished by June 2013. The municipality was incorporated in 2003. “
It takes a lot of work that you don’t see to get to this point of a groundbreaking,” Gibson said in an interview with the city-contracted videographer. “It’s a great accomplishment when something you work on for years comes to fruition.”
Carletha Robinson, a resident of the city since, 1957, said the new city hall and police department will lift help improve the city’s image.
“I feel like it will make our city look more like a city,” Robinson said.