New Government Service Center Opens in Virginia

VIRGINIA, MN – Employees at the Northland Office Building in Virginia, Minnesota were in need of a big change.

“The old building was basically a recreation hall converted to an office building, converted to a government office building,” Property Management Division Director, Tony Mancuso says.

The 7,000 people a month seeking their services often had a difficult time finding their way around, too.

“They would have a hard time navigating where to go. As well as the workers weren’t able to communicate as easily with each other as they are in this building,” Children and Family Services Director, Paula Stocke says.

“It was never built efficiently for providing our services,” Mancuso says.

Now, the over 200 employees, about 80 percent of them work in the health and human services department, have a new home- in the form of a nineteen million dollar building.

“It’ll be so much more efficient in terms of people having to go to one building for community resources,” Stocke says.

With the aging infrastructure of the Northland Building, the county board wanted to make sure they were getting their money’s worth by adding 16,000 square feet.

“We’ve added forensic interview rooms to this building as well. There’s three of them,” Mancuso says.

The building is full of local art from the area, and is energy efficient with over 300,000 solar panels on the roof.

“It’s beautiful. It just not quite done,” Mancuso says.

Officials want everyone moved into the building by Thursday, with each department up and running by Friday.

There will be an official ribbon cutting at the end of the year, when the old Northland Building is demolished to make room for a parking lot.

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