Anyone planning to go to the courthouse over the next few months should plan a little longer walk to the front door.
As of yesterday, the parking lot at the current courthouse and entrance to Magistrate Court are closed for construction to make way for the county’s new 1-cent sales tax approved $15.4 million government building.
A new parking lot farther north, behind the former Dollar General building on Shoal Creek Road, is now open. Handicap parking has been rerouted near the back entrance to the courthouse.
“We know it’s going to be inconvenient for the next year and a half, but it will be an inconvenience that will be short lived, and once the new facility will be done I think the citizens will be well pleased,” said Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner.
Designed to be constructed in three phases, the new government center, which will bring all county offices under one roof with the court system, is on schedule, according to Tanner.
Now in phase two, closing off the existing parking lot will be followed by grading the area where the foundation will eventually be set and the building constructed. The current courthouse would be demolished in phase three.
Tanner said residents should expect to see the 111,000 square feet, four story building begin to take shape within about 12 months.
“We’re still on budget and we hope to complete the project at the lowest cost for a courthouse that has been built in the last 12 years,” Tanner said.
He added Carroll County recently opened bids for a new courthouse that came in between $150-160 a square foot.
“We’re at $139 a square foot, so we do feel like we hit the market at the very best time,” Tanner said.
“The project is progressing. The weather has held up some of the processes since the first of the year, but it’s moving forward,” Tanner said.
Also moving forward after several weather related obstacles is the county’s new Fire Station 2 and government annex near the intersection of Dawson Forest Road and Hwy. 53 East.
The center, which will also house a sheriff’s precinct, tax and tag office, voting location and recycling facility, is expected to be completed within 30 days.
Voting in the July 20 General Primary is scheduled to take place at the new polling center at the station.