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Last day for county parking deck
Structure's demolition nearing
Deck WEB
The parking deck at East Main and Macon streets downtown is being demolished to make way for a new courthouse. - photo by Autumn Vetter

After 6 p.m. today, the parking deck in downtown Cumming will be closed forever.

All vehicles must be removed by that time or they will be towed, according to signs posted outside the deck.

The 246-space deck at East Main and Mason streets, which opened in 1994, will be demolished in mid-January to make way for a new Forsyth County courthouse.

The courthouse and jail projects were approved as part of a November 2011 referendum to extend the special purpose local option sales tax, known as SPLOST VII.

The projects, including two new parking decks, are estimated to cost about $100 million, or nearly half of the anticipated revenue from the six-year tax collection.

The demolition of the parking deck and the buildings across from the current courthouse will be the first noticeable change in the appearance of the Cumming square as the ground is readied for the new buildings.

People visiting the current courthouse will need to park at the lot at the southwest corner of Maple Street and Castleberry Road during this phase of construction.

Forsyth County spokeswoman Jodi Gardner said the area behind the administration has spaces designated for county employees and the public.

“There is also an area for two-hour parking, for use by both the public and for employees who are stopping by the building briefly,” she said.

In addition, employees will be able to temporarily use some designated spaces at Cumming City Hall, the Cumming Playhouse and Cumming City Park.

County Manager Doug Derrer has said that employees who currently use the deck have been arranging to carpool and park off site when possible.

“While the approaching changes downtown will bring about some adjustments, particularly with regards to parking, I know employees will respond with the same cooperative spirit they bring to their work every day,” Derrer said in a statement.

He added that a team of county employees developed a comprehensive plan for this and other transitions related to the projects.

As part of the new courthouse project, plans call for a four-level parking deck with about 450 spots to be built behind the county administration building.

In addition, a one-level deck with about 250 spots will go in at the corner of Maple and Castleberry.