Downtown Celina’s horizon will soon change with the city’s new government center.

The three-story government center will bring all of the city staff under one roof opposed to the separate buildings they have been using in recent years. Construction on the adjacent parking garage is slated to start this fall with the center construction to follow in 2026.

“The [government] center will change the skyline of downtown ... but council’s vision has been to keep that small town feel,” Celina Mayor Ryan Tubbs said. “Even though we are growing with new amenities, we just look at the government center and parking garage as an addition to downtown to enhance the services we offer.”

The details

The government center will be located at the corner of Walnut Street and Arizona Drive next to the existing City Council chambers.

The 100,000 square foot center, which is funded by the city’s 2024 general obligations bonds, has an estimated $70 million price tag, but that could change, Assistant City Manager Kimberly Brawner said in an email. The schematic design is complete and the contractor that was selected, Swinerton, is working on more accurate construction estimates, she said.

City staff see the government center as a temporary space, Tubbs said. At move-in, the city will have 200 employees working at the facility, which has a capacity of 400, but in five to 10 years Celina officials will outgrow the space.

“This is working toward our future city hall,” Tubbs said.

Once staff has moved out of the government center, it will be turned into the city’s central library. The city library will be included in the initial move-in with nearly 20,000 square feet before it encompasses the whole space, Tubbs said.

“Our current library is 2,500 square feet,” Brawner said during an April City Council meeting. “[The new] story time room is 1,900 square feet by itself.”

Council member Philip Ferguson said he would like to see the building or a room named for the city’s longtime Library Director Linda Shaw, who recently died.

In addition to enjoying the library, the public will be able to use the rooftop deck and event space, city staff said.

“This is supposed to be someplace the community wants to come and have their wedding receptions, and their baby showers and their Rotary Club meetings,” Brawner said.

The space was created with Celina’s history in mind with:
  • An open atrium
  • Exposed brick
  • Exposed concrete
  • An event ceiling
  • City-inspired murals
A secret garden will also be nestled between the center and parking garage, according to site plans.

“This is the vision that we have that we are all working toward building our downtown community,” Brawner said.

Digging deeper

The parking garage will bring in much-needed space for downtown, Tubbs said.

“[The parking garage] will alleviate congestion for employees and visitors and customers of all our downtown businesses,” Tubbs said.

He said it was a priority to keep city staff in the downtown area so they can continue to patronize local businesses. Brawner said construction crews will also patronize downtown businesses throughout project construction.

Looking ahead

The parking garage will be used by construction crews when they start work on the government center, officials said. It will also be available for use by the public.

“We want it to be the community’s space as well,” Tubbs said. “At the end of day, it’s the taxpayers investing in this building.”
  • May 2024: Preliminary guaranteed maximum price approved by council
  • October 2024: Parking garage construction starts
  • October 2025: Parking garage construction complete
  • March 2026: Government center construction starts
  • October 2026: Government center construction complete