Thomas Co. new courthouse on fast track - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas Co. new courthouse on fast track

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November 15, 2006

Thomasville-  Construction plans for a new Thomas County Courthouse are on the fast track. In the next week, contracts are expected to be signed with an Atlanta architect and then the design phase will begin.

Rot and decay at the aging Thomas County Courthouse prompted the Special Local Option Sales Tax's approval in July. Now, the wheels are in motion to construct a new courthouse.

"I think everybody realizes we have got improve our facilities and time is of the essence," said Charles Olson, Citizen's Design Advisory Committee Chairman.

A contract with Atlanta architect Jack Pyburn is expected to be finalized next week, then the design phase will begin.

"Security is one of the major issues to deal with court functions," said Olson.

The new building is planned for this property between Monroe and Washington, the county owns about a third of it and is getting ready to approach business owners.

"We're having some appraisals done now and we'll be entering into negotiations with property owners over the next couple of months," said Mike Stephenson.

Charles Olson and the Citizen's Design Advisory Committee believes it's important that the new courthouse fits in with the rest of downtown.

"To make sure the project fits in with the historic downtown while also providing efficient enough space for the county commission and hopefully it will last well into the future," said Olson.

Just like the current courthouse that's served this county for 148 years. The design phase is expected to take five to six months. Construction should begin late next summer.

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