Paulding County is closing in on completion of a new jail and sheriff’s office headquarters that will replace the outdated and overcrowded buildings deputies have been working in for 30 years.
Construction is 90% complete on the facility which will be the new location of the county jail and Paulding County Sheriff’s Office’s headquarters, said Amy Tisenchek of program manager Comprehensive Program Services.
She said construction manager Turner Construction Co. had not run into any unexpected problems with the building or site in recent months after enduring a number that added about $1 million to the cost in late 2018.
“We do not anticipate any further site or design challenges,” Tisenchek said.
The facility will include a total of almost 200,000 square feet on a 25-acre site sandwiched between the Paulding County courthouse and West Memorial Drive in Dallas.
It will feature a 133,000-square-foot, 660-bed detention center that is three times the size of the current jail; and an attached 58,000-square-foot building housing a new main headquarters for the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.
A separate inmate visitation building will operate on the site’s southeast corner.
Tisenchek said Turner Construction still must complete some items before the sheriff’s office can move in.
Workers are installing and testing the building’s electronic security system. They also are in the final stages of completing interior finishes, she said.
County Operations Director Scott Greene said he expected to see paving of the parking lots around the new buildings beginning around Nov. 11.
Late this month, workers will begin installing furniture, fixtures and equipment and continue that process through mid-February, Tisenchek said.
She said the projected dates of “substantial completion” are set for Dec. 12 for a support area, including kitchen, laundry, property storage, loading dock and booking areas; Dec. 13 for the jail’s inmate housing area; Dec. 18 for the Law Enforcement Center, which will be the new sheriff’s office headquarters; and Jan. 7 for the inmate visitation building.
“Substantial completion” is defined in state law as the date when “construction was sufficiently completed, in accordance with the contract as modified by any change order agreed to by the parties, so that the owner could occupy the project for the use for which it was intended.”
Final completion of the project is targeted for Feb. 28, 2020, Tisenchek said.
The complex will replace the quarter-century-old sheriff’s office and 200-bed jail off Dallas-Acworth Highway northeast of Dallas that Sheriff Gary Gulledge said has numerous maintenance problems, is routinely overcrowded and does not conform to state standards for detention facilities.
Paulding voters in November 2016 voted to issue up to $77 million in bond financing to fund the facility’s design, layout, and construction.
Construction began in mid-2018 and the price tag for the facility now stands at about $71 million. The county government began paying off the bond financing this year and expects to do so for decades to come, officials said.
Its 25-acre site is bounded on the north by West Memorial Drive, Weaver Creek and WellStar Paulding Nursing Center; the county courthouse and government building on the south; Bethel Avenue and Merritt Circle on the east; and the Georgia Department of Driver Services building on the west.
Gulledge said he preferred the site because of its proximity to the courthouse and the increased security risk from transporting inmates by vehicle three miles from the current jail through downtown Dallas to the courthouse for hearings.
During construction in 2018, Turner Construction found underground rock formations site engineers had not discovered during pre-construction foundation tests.
It also discovered an underground pit filled with construction debris that was likely used while clearing the site for the Watson building more than a decade earlier, officials said.
The pit was located beneath the original site of the visitation building and Turner was forced to relocate the building to its present site.
Builders also were forced to add precast panels to the building facade to bring the facility into conformance with Dallas city building design standards.