By Lynn Jones
Duval county elected officials included City Councilman Johnny Gaffney, Rep. Mia Jones, Councilman Warren Jones and Rep. Fullwood were in attendance this week for the grand opening of the city’s new election’s headquarters. The move comes after much controversy surrounding the Supervisor of Elections headquarter’s move from the Gateway Mall to the Imeson area off of North Main Street.
Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland and his staff welcomed polled workers, elected officials and Duval citizens to the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Duval County Elections Center. The facility is a warehouse and training center and voting location that will house election equipment, train poll workers and has space for a 70 person call center to assist voters.
Duval Election’s Center was previously located at Gateway Shopping Center and was beseeched with building maintenance problems and high rent. The facility was a 560,352-square-foot shopping center, near the Golfair Boulevard exit from Interstate 95, which was built in 1959 as an outdoor strip center and expanded in 1967 to include indoor mall space. Once one of the most popular shopping centers in the city, the center fell into disrepair after a rash of store closings in the 1980s and 1990s before being revived in the mid-1990s by the Gateway Center Economic Development Partnership.
The Imeson site is 50,000 square feet of space which is expected to save taxpayers 3 million dollars over 10 years. Imeson location landlords also provided assistance with building improvements and upgrades. Voters can still go to Gateway for early voting early inside the Tax Collector’s old call center. The Duval County Supervisor of Elections Center is located in City Councilman Johnnie Gaffney’s District 7, “we passed the proposal for the elections center to move to Imeson and this was a financially frugal decision that is being done the right way. I am proud of Jerry Holland and his staff.” The newly remolded Duval County Supervisor of Elections Center is located at 1 Imeson Park Blvd. Building 100. For more information visit www.duvalelections.com or call the office 630-1414.