(August 26, 2021) It’s the City of Frisco’s latest example of reusing an existing, city-owned building for a new purpose while saving money. Today city dignitaries, staff and honored guests gathered for a dedication, ribbon cutting and tour of the city’s new Courthouse. Newly named for a longtime judge, the Judge Edmund Burke Frisco Municipal Courthouse will reopen to the general public August 30 in a new location, 8450 Moore Street.
“This is worth the wait,” said Municipal Court Judge Art Maldonado. “The facility came out exactly as we envisioned and more. This will be the forever home for Frisco’s Municipal Court, lasting for the rest of our careers, for sure.”
Described as an ‘adaptive reuse project’, the City of Frisco transformed its former senior center into a state-of-the-art municipal court facility. The $10 million project, supported by voter-approved bonds, was completed nearly $1 million under budget, too.
“When our city managers first proposed moving our Courthouse into (what was) the senior center, I wasn’t convinced it was the best solution to accommodate our growth,” said Anita Cothran, Chief Financial Officer. “But we wound up with a beautiful building, centrally located and under budget.”
The ‘old’ Courthouse, which operated on Main Street since 2008, spanned approximately 8,000 square feet. The Judge Edmund Burke Municipal Courthouse measures 23,715 square feet.
Twenty-one, full-time employees work in the Courthouse, collectively handling an average case load of 20,000 cases each year. Staff sees anywhere from 10,000 – 15,000 people each year, be it jurors, attorneys, defendants or members of the general public.
“As one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, we recognized we needed a Courthouse to grow with our community, as well,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney. “We couldn’t be prouder of our staff, led by Judge Maldonado and our Court Administrator Matthew Freeman, and their ability to envision great possibilities for this building. We have a new and improved Courthouse that complements our team, working to provide efficient, quality service.”
Like many city buildings, this place of business has a sculpted touch of beauty. An art piece, Toward a Fair and Just Verdict, hangs in the lobby. It depicts a modernist scale, used for weighing evidence presented to a jury. A central beam is intersected by a smaller, curved beam in six segments representing the six jurors on a Frisco Municipal Court jury.
“Artist Michael Clapper was chosen for this project out of 84 highly qualified candidates from throughout the country. Toward a Fair and Just Verdict will serve as a reminder of the important work conducted at the Municipal Court for years to come. Special thanks go to the Artist Selection Committee and Public Art Board for guiding this project,” said Robert Moroch, Chairman, Public Art Board.
On August 17, the Frisco City Council voted to name the facility after Judge Burke, who has served the City of Frisco for more than forty years. He was first appointed by then Mayor John Clanton (1978 – 1986), prior to the adoption of the first City Charter.
“Today, let us not just celebrate the name on the building, but the vision and planning and teamwork that made this building possible,” said Associate Judge Edmund Burke. “I will remember this day and be in debt to those gathered here for the rest of my life.”
The Judge Edmund Burke Municipal Courthouse is a truancy and juvenile court for class C misdemeanors. It also serves as a Magistrate Court for offenses from felonies to class B misdemeanors.
The court will reopen to the public August 30 at the new location, 8450 Moore St, during its regularly scheduled hours. For more information about court services, go to FriscoTexas.gov