(HESPERIA)– More than 100 residents and dignitaries celebrated the grand opening of the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center today, the first County government building constructed in the High Desert.
“This state-of-the-art government center will provide centralized and improved services to County residents for generations to come,” said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. “I would like to thank all the County staff and private-sector engineers, designers and construction workers who helped make this long-needed project possible. It was also an honor to have Congressman Jerry Lewis present to celebrate the naming of the building after him, to commemorate his decades of service to San Bernardino County.”
The $20 million, 66,000-square foot building will be home to several County departments, including County Clerk and Recorder, Assessor, Code Enforcement, Environmental Health, Public Works, Planning, Building & Safety, County Fire, Veterans Affairs and the district office for the First District Supervisor.
At Supervisor Mitzelfelt’s request, the building was constructed to “essential facility” standards, meaning it will not only survive a major earthquake, it will remain fully functional and able to serve as a command center after any major disaster.
The building features solar panels that will generate up to 70 percent of its electricity needs and incorporates other energy and water efficiency features that will save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a year while also protecting the environment. The building is expected to qualify for certification as LEED Gold, one of the highest ratings for efficiency.
Designed to accommodate future growth, the government center currently has extra space and the County is considering moving other departments there, including the Emergency Operations Center, now located in Rialto. The County has also offered space to the staff of State and Federal legislators.
The five acres of land was donated by the City of Hesperia and the project was built in conjunction with Hesperia’s new police headquarters, further saving money. The project was built for $6.8 million below the original estimate and was paid for with cash the County has been saving for a number of years. The Government Center is located at 15900 Smoke Tree Street, next to Hesperia City Hall.