CUMMING – Last month the new Forsyth County Courthouse opened, but its sister project is taking a little bit longer.
The new Forsyth County Jail had previously been expected to open in early April, but a rock deposit in the area water and sewer lines has slowed down the project.
“In running utilities, the water the sewer and a 54-inch storm line has been challenging due to rock,” said County Manager Doug Derrer.
“Running the water and sanitary sewer is completed. We now have hookup for water and sanitary sewer and the contractor is still working on the final run, if you will, of the 54-inch storm line.
“I would say that the delay in the project is the result of the rock that has been encountered.”
Derrer said that the construction should be done by the end of next month, though it could take an additional month to get the new jail ready for deputies and prisoners.
“We anticipate based on the information we’ve got from our program manager and our construction manager for its material completion, which is May 22,” he said. “Then following that it takes about 30 days, about June 22 could be final completion.”
There will then be a period of training, but Derrer said the jail should officially open in about three months, though there is no official date for the new opening.
“Following that there will be a time following final completion, and maybe even prior to final completion when the sheriff’s office will have access to the jail for training and building acclamation,” he said “So that could take us into sometime in July, before the real opening, if you will, of the new jail.”
After the new jail is opened, it will take a few weeks to transport inmates over, but once it’s done Derrer said the area used for the current jail will be converted into a new parking lot.
“I suspect within 15 to 30 days following the opening of the new jail, and that means it’s going to take some time to get all the inmates moved out they won’t all be moved out at once they’ll be moved out in phases,” he said. “Once all that’s completed, then the razing, demolition of the current jail should begin.”
Following the completion of the new courthouse and two new parking decks, the jail is one of the building projects being funded by the $100 million 1-cent sales tax program, which was approved by voters in a November 2011 referendum.
The new jail will have more space and security that its predecessor and will be connected to the Forsyth County Courthouse by an enclosed walkway.
“[It will have] security enhancements, additional security,” Derrer said. “Of course having connectivity between the jail and courthouse for public safety purposes, so inmates can travel across the bridge instead of being put in patrol cars and traveling with the regular motoring public.