A former senior center has gotten a new life helping to balance the scales of justice in Frisco.
On Thursday, the city of Frisco celebrated the reopening and the new name of its municipal court, which has moved to 8450 Moore St. The building, located at the site of a former senior center that underwent an adaptive reuse transformation, measures over 23,000 square feet, more than double the 8,000 square feet of the former municipal court building on Main Street.
The $10 million project, financed by voter-approved bonds from 2015, finished early and was almost $1 million under budget.
“The thing that we’re proud of is this facility is now future-proofed for the growth of Frisco,” Mayor Jeff Cheney said Thursday.
The building is slated to open to the public on Monday.
The courthouse comprises 21 full-time employees handling an average of 20,000 cases per year. On Thursday, Frisco Chief Financial Officer Anita Cothran congratulated court staff.
“I’ll just tell you that most of them were in small offices, and there were three of them to an office,” Cothran said. “So they have waited a long time for this.”
The Frisco City Council voted earlier in August to name the building after Edmund Burke, who was appointed as municipal judge for Frisco in the early 1980s. He conducted court in what was available at the time, including a variety of city facilities and local churches, according to the city. He currently serves as an associate judge, and the new facility is his fifth courthouse.
“Today let us not just celebrate the name on the building but the vision and the planning and the teamwork that made this building possible,” Burke said Thursday. “I will remember this day and be in debt to those who gathered here for the rest of my life. Thank you.”
The Judge Edmund Burke Municipal Courthouse serves as a truancy and juvenile court for class C misdemeanors and as a magistrate court for offenses from felonies to class B misdemeanors, the city stated.
The courthouse includes an art piece hanging from the ceiling created by Denver-based artist Michael Clapper. The piece, titled “Toward a Fair and Just Verdict,” shows a modernist scale and features pendants with stainless evidence pages.
Cheney said adaptive reuse projects come with the challenge of making the building look like it was intended to be designed for the new use from the beginning.
“I think that was our biggest question, and as you see today, I think all of you would agree that this looks like it was always intended to be the courthouse, what do you think?” he said.
His question was met with applause.