New Home for Board of Supervisors
One hundred and twenty one years after it was built, the 1891 Courthouse will once again come to life as a centerpiece of government activity.
The town of Florence was established in 1866. Pinal County was created February 1, 1875 as the sixth county in the state with the county seat being located in Florence. The first Pinal County Courthouse was constructed in 1877, now known as McFarland State Park in Florence. The Board of Supervisors was W.C. Smith, G.W. Campbell, and E.W. Childs.
The second Pinal County Courthouse was completed February 2, 1891 at a total cost of $34,765. The original 15,000 square feet housed the offices of the Supervisors, the Recorder, the Treasurer, and the Assessor. The Sheriff’s Office and jail occupied the back end of the first floor.
Over the years, additions and modifications were made to the Courthouse. County officials last occupied the building in 2006 when it had become too costly to maintain and operate in an energy-efficient manner.
As of the 2010 Census, Pinal County’s population has grown to 375,770. Due to the tremendous growth in Pinal County, new voting districts need to be created to be in accordance with Arizona State Statute, A.R.S. 11-211(A), that requires counties with a population of 175,000 or more people to have a board of 5 elected supervisors. To accomodate the larger panel of officials who will take office in January 2013, one of the departments within the central administration building would have to move out. Plans were underway to construct a building that would house the Human Resources staff so the Supervisors' offices would be together in Building A.
In August 2010. Swan Architects, Inc. published a thorough assessment of the 1891 Courthouse documenting what would be needed in order to rehabilitate the facility and restore it to functional use. County Manager, Fritz A. Behring, recommended that the Board of Supervisors cancel plans to construct a new building and use the funding to renovate the 1891 Courthouse. In January 2011, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the plan to renovate the courthouse. The 1891 Courthouse will house the Board of Supervisors and their hearing room, the County Manager, Clerk of the Board along with multiple community and meeting rooms. A gallery will be included to showcase historical documents reflecting the history of Pinal County and the 1891 Courthouse.
Completion of the courthouse renovations is targeted for November 2012. The grand opening will be held when the new five-member Board of Supervisors takes office in January 2013.