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New Forsyth County Jail opens in downtown Cumming
jail

CUMMING — Massive downtown Cumming construction projects are finished as the new Forsyth County Jail began official operations on Sept. 11.

The opening, which was announced Monday, concluded a multi-year process that saw construction begin in July 2013 after voters approved $100 million in funding through an extension of the 1-cent sales tax program in November 2011.

Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said the larger size of the new jail will serve the community for years to come.

“The design makes it a much more secure facility and safer for both the inmates and the deputies,” Piper said.

The old detention center was built in the 1970s, he said, while the new 608-inmate-capacity jail takes “full advantage” of technology and philosophy that has evolved since then.

Facilities like the laundry room and kitchen were built to be expandable to accommodate 1,200 inmates.

More than 100 people work at the building, which houses about 270 inmates.

Public records will be provided at the new location instead of at the current sheriff’s office headquarters. Hours of operation for records will remain 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

The jail was originally slated to open in early April, but a rock deposit in nearby water and sewer lines slowed construction.

The opening continued to be pushed back month by month, with steps such as training the staff for the new facilities and transporting equipment and inmates needed to be completed.

The new county courthouse, which was funded through the same voter-approved referendum, opened in March.

All inmates who were housed in the old detention center were transferred to the new location without incident, said Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The detention center is closed and will, at some point, be demolished to make way for parking.

Under an arrangement approved at the beginning of September, those arrested by Cumming police will also be housed in the county jail.

County commissioners approved the measure to accept an annual minimum of $25,000 to house city detainees.

The jail’s address will remain the same, 202 Veterans Memorial Blvd.