New sheriff's office building soon to start taking shape

Crews are still working underground at the future site of the Richmond County’s sheriff’s administration building, but the contractor estimates steel should start going up in the next month.


Project Manager Jay McClellan, of Potts Construction Co., estimates the building located across from the current complex at 401 Walton Way should be completed by mid-August 2012.

“A lot of work has to be done before you can see anything,” he said of the current plumbing and electrical work being done underground.

But that doesn’t mean administration in the current Law Enforcement Center isn’t watching eagerly.

The building, built in 1985, has been plagued with leaks and mold since opening.

Col. Gary Powell said he joyfully looks forward to moving out of the office he occupies at the current building. He only wishes it would be sooner. On more than one occasion he’s discovered mold spores inside his office.

McClellan said the project was delayed when permits and project drawings took longer than expected.

“We guarantee the city a leakproof building,” he said Wednesday.

The Conyers, Ga., construction company just recently finished work on the Richmond County Judicial Center located at the corner of Walton Way and James Brown Boulevard.

Once the new 35,000-square-foot building is complete, it will house administration, records bureau, civil division, criminal investigations and a crime lab with a two-car garage for processing suspect vehicles.

The current crime lab is located on Eighth Street.

Later, the prisoners being housed at the jail will move to Phinizy Road. That could take another three to five years, Powell said.

First the jail on Phinizy Road will need another pod and an area for prisoner intake. Construction has not begun on that phase.

Currently all inmates are booked at the Walton Way jail.

What happens to the empty building is questionable. There have been discussions about demolishing it but nothing has been decided.


Current: plumbing and electricity work underground

October: steel starts going up

December: metal framing begins

February to March: close up the building and install windows

March through August: construction continues indoors

Mid-August: projected project completion and move-in



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