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Buildings to sport similar exterior
Committee opts for buff trim
A committee chose the brick Tuesday for the courthouse and jail projects. - photo by Alyssa LaRenzie

A committee selected the exterior color choices for Forsyth County’s new jail, courthouse and one of the parking decks Tuesday morning.

The SPLOST VII Project Team agreed on the Feldhaus “red creased sanded” shade for the brick portions of the jail and courthouse, to be paired with a buff precast concrete trim.

The original rendering for the buildings featured a white trim, which the committee found too stark.

The committee oversees construction of the projects as approved by voters in the November 2011 referendum on the special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST.

Construction on the buildings began in July, and work started in October on a second parking deck, which is on Castleberry Road.

Contracted program manager Joe Lee said the buff trim chosen for the structures will “wear a whole lot better than the white.”

The bridge connecting the jail and courthouse will also have the buff precast exterior.

The buildings’ brick selection had been postponed from a meeting on Nov. 20, when the project team wasn’t set on any of the options presented and asked for more red tones.

The two samples shown Tuesday were similar in color, but one had a smoother texture, which architect Lamar Wakefield said is typically associated with residential construction.

Wakfield described the committee’s more textured selection as “classic.”

The project team also reviewed the material for the architectural features on the courthouse, choosing the product that will cost more up front but less in maintenance.

Lee said the lightweight precast material cost about $500,000 more, but the difference over a lifetime of maintenance would be about $275,000 more than the less expensive product.

Either material would require pressure washing about every five years, he said.

Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said the “focal point of the county” shouldn’t have a trim that cuts costs and could be more likely to become worn or damaged.

“That’s like having a Cadillac with maypop tries on it because you want to cut back somewhere,” Gravitt said.

Wakefield agreed that the promised 50-year lifetime of the building would be more likely to be maintained with the pricier material.

Lee said he would be able to find the money within the budget for the trim.

The group also approved, with a few tweaks, the first of three options for the Mason Street parking deck, which will be built behind the county’s administration building.

The brick will be similar to that of the county facility, and the vertical columns on the deck will be beige precast.