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A changing landscape in Cumming

POSTED: February 10, 2013 8:00 a.m.

If you haven’t driven through the heart of downtown Cumming in the last few days, you may be in for a surprise. A chunk of it isn’t there anymore.

Crews have demolished structures in the block across from the front of the county courthouse as the first tangible step toward construction of the new courthouse and jail approved by voters in a SPLOST referendum in November 2011.

The county’s efforts to have funding approved for the projects had been rejected numerous times through the years prior to the 2011 vote. Having proof-positive that the effort to replace outdated and outgrown facilities is finally truly under way is something to cheer about.

Later this month, commissioners will be asked to approve design proposals for a 5-story courthouse and a 4-story jail which have been recommended by the committee working on the SPLOST project, and by the summer construction should be under way.

No doubt the projects, and two new parking decks that are planned, will dramatically change the look of the area around the square.  We hope more changes are forthcoming as well.

Once design plans are finalized for the courthouse and jail, the time will be right to begin to envision what the entire downtown area could become. There will be no better time to put together a visionary look for the town, one that incorporates the institutional government buildings into a comprehensive plan along with commercial and residential areas.

Now is the time to imagine what the city could be, and how it could look, decades from now. A strategy for planned growth and development with the square at its core could result in a vibrant and lively downtown area that harkens back to the past when commercial and retail shops lined the city’s streets, bringing people to the heart of Cumming for business and pleasure.

The landscape for Cumming is changing; let’s put forth a plan to make it something special.


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