April 19, 2013

Miami Lakes officials move into new government center

Miami Lakes is celebrating the opening of its new government center, which is environmentally friendly and has space for hosting town events.

This week, Miami Lakes officials moved into the town’s new government center.

The two-story facility, located at 6601 Main Street, marks the first time for the young town to have its own town hall.

“In Miami Lakes, for the past 12 years, we’ve been living like gypsies moving from rental to rental,” Mayor Michael Pizzi said, referring to the move being the fourth time that the town’s main office has changed location since incorporation.

The new 25,000-square-foot facility is LEED-certified and is the hub for all town departments, including executive and administrative offices, the police department, and public works operations.

The project came with a roughly $6.7 million price tag, which includes the cost of the land purchase, according to Pizzi.

“We have a home of our own, and we own it,” said Pizzi, who calls the government center one of the town’s “crowning achievements” and said he is proud of the way it turned out.

Roughly $55,000 was spent on new furniture for the facility, which is being used for communal spaces, such as the council chambers and the lobby area.

The town’s staff, including elected officials, are using office furniture from the town’s previous location.

“In fact, a lot of the furniture we have, we bought used from an insurance company that was getting rid of it,” Pizzi said. “This is the same furniture I had in my old office.”

The new building includes the council chamber, which holds about 200 people.

Since the town opted out of stadium-style seating and bolted-down chairs, the room can also serve as a multipurpose room for town events, according to Pizzi.

“I did not want a Taj Mahal. I wanted a building that was going to be the people’s building and serve the needs of the community,” Pizzi said. “I want [residents] to say, ‘This is a beautiful building — it looks great, and it’s really going to service our needs.’ I didn’t want them to come and say, ‘Wow, look at the glass and the gold and the dome and the glitter. This must have cost $100,000,000.’ ”

A public grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new government center will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Refreshments and some entertainment will be at the event, which will be followed by the town’s inaugural meeting in its new council chambers at 6:30 p.m.

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