CUMMING — History was made on Friday when several items were put away for a lifetime at the new Forsyth County Courthouse
As part of the annual Law Day ceremonies, courthouse employees and city and county officials gathered to bury a time capsule, which was placed in the cornerstone at the northwest corner of the building.
Among the time capsule items were publications, photographs, sports memorabilia, current technology, maps and several items dedicated by various groups, government agencies, school and individuals.
“Our time capsule has been filled,” said Chief Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley. “I think [Court Administrator] Robin Rooks can tell you that it’s full to the brim with letters, newspapers, books, artifacts which will show a future generation 100 years from now or later what life was like in the year 2015.”
The five-story courthouse opened in March. It, along with a new four-story jail across East Maple Street and two nearby multi-level parking decks with hundreds of spaces each, was funded through an extension of the 1-cent sales tax program that voters approved in a November 2011 referendum.
The first $100 million from the sales tax is going toward the structures, on which construction began in July 2013. The jail is scheduled to open this July.
During the ceremony Friday, the cornerstone was also laid to cover the time capsule. Bagley gave a brief overview of the significance of that event to the crowd, which also included elected officials, residents and members of the local bar association.
“I did a little bit of research, [the stone] concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation,” he said. “Over time, a cornerstone became a masonry stone set at a prominent location outside of a building with inscriptions indicating architect, date, builder and other significant individuals.”
Bagley said the new courthouse will act as a landmark for the community.
“This is a very important ceremony, the laying of the cornerstone and the internment of the time capsule,” Bagley said. “This is the ceremonial completion of our [new courthouse], perhaps the most significant structure ever built in the history of Forsyth County.”
The building dominates the local skyline, said Bagley, adding that he believes it will be a benefit for the area for quite a while.
“Some of us may be criticized for that,” he said “I know the county commissioners here have probably gotten some criticism. But I think over time the citizens of our community are going to appreciate this building, this structure that is going to last for generations and generations to come.”