Justice for All

South Dallas Government Center
Dallas County
Dallas, TX

The Dallas County South Government Center is a new, ground-up $22 million, 73,000 SF two-story structure constructed at the southern edge of Dallas County. It serves to replace and consolidate three existing aging facilities under one roof. The new building houses the County Tax Office, Veteran’s Affairs, County Constable, Sheriff’s Traffic Division, Sheriff’s Dispatch, Sheriff’s K-9 Unit, and two (2) Justice of the Peace Courts.

Design amenities include a public walking trail that will also be used by the Constable’s and Sheriff’s Academy for agility training, food truck parking adjacent to the detention pond, a weight room for employees and a wellness room for nursing mothers. Public space has been designated for art integration and the site will also serve as a precinct for local and national elections. The project also included the design and integration of 160’ tall radio communications tower, a kennel for the K-9 unit, property and evidence storage for the Sheriff’s Traffic Division. The facility is designed to achieve a LEED v4 Silver Certification.

KAI provided design and site planning of the South Government Center, served as the Architect of Record, integrated our in-house MEP group into the overall team, and assisted in master planning the overall site for future growth and development. We leveraged our storm shelter design experience and worked collaboratively with our structural engineering consultant to bring forth an innovative design:  Dispatch was designed as an ICC-500 2015 Storm Shelter that will withstand winds up to 200MPH and remain operational in a severe weather event. Our team utilized a “Pea in the Pod” concept in which the hardened storm shelter is constructed and the rest of the building is built around it. Integrated seamlessly into the overall building design, the public and staff are not even aware of its special function. This facility will also serve as a back-up Dispatch center for both the City of Dallas and City of Lancaster.


Building Information Modeling, Master Planning, Planning, Programming, Schematic Design, Construction Administration, Plumbing Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Interior Design, Architecture

"The modern look and feel of the facility is something the community can be proud of. The way the art-work was integrated into the design and finishes of the building make it a premier building in the County’s inventory. Also, the use of small and minority firms to finance and construct the facility was important for this project, particularly because of its location and the population to be served."

Darryl Martin, County Administrator
Dallas County

The Impact

Restorative justice

This project speaks to an emerging theme on how the architecture and construction process can speak towards and address the inequities of our society. As a governmental facility, the architecture, art integration, and design embrace a theme of restorative justice. The build process of the project included a collaboration with the Regional Black Contractors Association and their “Second Chance” workforce program that trains men and women who have been part of the criminal justice system and puts them to work with new skillsets on the project job site. In addition, the project is a success story of a development team comprised of minority firms (including finance partner, contractor, and architect) delivering a project exceeding the expectations of the client.

Project Recognition

LEED Silver Certification Pending