The Last Word: Why the New McKinney City Hall Will Have Flexibility Built Right In

“We can’t predict what city government is going to look like in 50 years.”

Barry Shelton
Assistant City Manager
City of McKinney

.…on why flexibility is being baked into the design of McKinney’s new city hall, via the Dallas Morning News.

When you build a new city hall, it’s not just for today. Take Dallas City Hall: Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, it was completed in 1978. Nearly 50 years later, it remains one of the most striking and forward-looking—even forward-leaning-looking—contributions to the city’s identity.

Now a new city hall is going up to the north in McKinney. And this one’s being built with its own eye on the future, with the ability to pivot baked right in.

“We know that the city’s needs are going to change over time, and so we built it in a manner to where it’s flexible, so you can modify a layout that works,” Shelton told the Dallas Morning News.

Rendering of the McKinney City Hall entrance. [Video still: City of McKinney]

Designed by the San Antonio-based Lake|Flato architecture firm and Frisco’s Parkhill, the city hall is being built by McKinney’s own Pogue Construction at a budget of around $105 million. The city plans to begin moving into the building around January 2025, the DMN said.

Sheldon is excited about what the city hall will bring.

“It’s complementary to our downtown and provides an open space and plaza that’s a gathering place for our citizens,” Shelton says in a YouTube video previewing the project. “The city hall is being designed to incorporate natural light and open spaces throughout the building. The building incorporates a large number of meeting spaces including event centers that can be used by the citizens.”

The new McKinney City Hall plaza will be a gathering place for the city. [Video still: City of McKinney]

“We’re really excited about the plaza,” Shelton adds, saying it will offer areas for food trucks, events and festivals including activities for families. “We want to turn it into a park space for the district and for surrounding neighborhoods.”

Tall grain silos across Virginia Street from the city hall’s plaza will be covered by a mural painting by a “world-renowned artist” the city has hired, Shelton says, enhancing the views and experiences of people in the plaza—and giving the city yet another signature as it moves into the future.

Silos across from the new McKinney City Hall plaza will be painted with a mural by a world-renowned artist. [Video still: City of McKinney]

Finally, here’s a look at a rendering of the new McKinney City Hall council chambers. Because after all, a big purpose of the building is what will go on in this room for decades to come:

Rendering of the council chambers at the new McKinney City Hall. [Video still: City of McKinney]

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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