The verdict is in on the recently opened Utah County Regional Government Center, at least as far as government officials attending Tuesday's dedicatory ceremonies are concerned.
"This is an example of what we can do by working together," said Lt. Gov. Val Oveson.Oveson said differing views on cost, location and the need for new buildings often spark controversy. But all taxpayers served by the center's consolidated government services will benefit from the complex, he said.
"We all become the beneficiaries of them (new buildings)," Oveson said, and must be willing to sacrifice for those who will need and use the complex in the future.
Utah Attorney General David Wilkinson joined Oveson in praising state and county government officials for the team work that made the center possible. Government workers employed in the new buildings may not get a lot of salary recognition, he said, but they can't complain about their new surroundings.
"This will serve as a stepping stone, perhaps, for nicer buildings statewide," Wilkinson said.
The complex, built by Jacobsen Construction Co. and developed by Boyer Co., comprises a 132,000-square-foot regional state office building and a 90,000-square-foot county building. Several county and state offices have been centralized and consolidated in the new complex.
The center also includes a 218,000-square-foot parking terrace for about 700 vehicles.
County Commissioners Brent Morris and Gary Anderson said the center was badly needed and well-deserved by government employees accustomed to working out of nooks and crannies. "It's something that's been long needed," Anderson said.
Morris called the $30 million complex a unique project that required several interlocal government agreements that saved taxpayer dollars. He said bonds for the center's construction were issued by the county building authority, created by and composed of county commissioners. The board leases the center to the county, which subleases to the state.
By the way, Morris told Oveson, "Send as much (money) as you can."
Commission Chairman Malcolm Beck said government officials need to keep taxpayers in mind when contemplating project developments.
"We've accomplished that in Utah County" with construction of the government complex, he said. He said the building will pay for itself many times over once it's been paid off.
People will no longer have to run all over town looking for county and state offices, he added. "I think it's going to serve the public well."
From Provo City's perspective, said Mayor Joe Jenkins, "This is a great edifice" and will do much to promote downtown Provo.
"They did it right. They set a standard on the way things should be done."