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Town green — see what downtown Cumming will look like


Still unclear where all the cars will park



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Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman looks over the plans for a new courthouse being constructed in Cumming. Aldo Nahed. (click for larger version)
October 24, 2012
CUMMING, Ga. – Downtown Cumming's future will have a focal point.

A new courthouse concept will include green space, but when it comes to parking — well, that's a muddy topic.

Forsyth County Commissioners unanimously accepted their committee's recommendation to go with the "town green" concept.

"We are trying to open up a more inviting town square, which we think will invite more development downtown," said Program Manager Joe Lee, of Carter Goble Lee at the Oct. 18 regular meeting.

The three projects presented met the construction schedules and $100 million budget, Lee said.

In the approved concept, the courthouse will be pulled back as to not overpower the surrounding buildings with its height.

The new courthouse facility is five stories tall. As compared to a two-story existing courthouse, a three-story city hall and a two-story administration building.

The jail expansion will be in its current location, taking over the existing detention center parking lot.

The town green look for the courthouse creates a large landscaped green space in the middle of the city, said Doug Shaw, director of Municipal Studio at Wakefield Beasley and Associates.

The jail and courthouse would be pulled back so it opens up the city hall and county administration buildings and creates a public space.

On the downside, the project team representatives said at the meeting, the parking deck is lost.

"When you put the green space into the scheme, the parking facilities are displaced," Shaw said.

Now, the challenge is to locate a four-story parking garage, which according to city ordinance needs to be 400 feet from the courthouse structure. Some floated ideas for the location of the parking deck include a city-owned 2-acre lot near Tyson Foods off Castleberry Road or behind the county's administration building, 110 East Main Street.

"The parking location facility can be decided at a later point," Shaw said.

The estimated time to build a parking deck is between four and five months. The jail expansion and courthouse could take 18 months to complete.

The location accepted by the board will have expansion capabilities and secure parking for judges.

The concept also eliminates the possibility of inmates and the public mixing together because jail inmates would walk to the courthouse from the jail either through a tunnel or a bridge. That has yet to be determined.

"Getting started on the design of the courthouse and jail is on a critical path," Lee said.

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Tags: Community & Outreach, Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    New Jail
    October 28, 2012 | 10:42 AM

    Even after the citizen’s of Forsyth County voted aganist a new jail.We will still get a new one for our criminals to lay in and soak up our tax dollors,not to mention the dustruction of our town and city parking. Yes the city needs a face lift but it seems like the criminals are the ones getting the binifits not the law abiding citizen's

    Big Dan
    Cumming
  2. report print email
    New Town ?
    October 28, 2012 | 08:44 PM

    Cumming does not need to spend all this for a facelift. Leave it historical and stop waisting money. Funds good go toward helping the needy etc in Cumming !

    BIG BOB
    cumming
  3. report print email
    Parking Deck
    October 29, 2012 | 07:38 AM

    I think the parking deck should already be planned before all of this construction starts. The planned green space is nice, but really who is going to just walk around town because it looks pretty. I believe the county has spent millions to build the greenway for that. Get the plan in place, so people have a place to park when going to these new fancy facilities. Also, please don't even consider touching the Dairy Queen when you plan that new deck.

    The Queen
    Cumming
  4. report print email
    Wasting money
    November 05, 2012 | 01:25 AM

    Wasting more of our tax dollars on something not needed.. can u say big government?

    DIESEL DAVE
    Cumming
  5. report print email
    Happy Family
    November 06, 2012 | 09:31 AM

    But the abandoned "Happy Family" Chinese restaurant on the square still remains....



    Christina
    Cumming
  6. report print email
    Happy Family
    November 06, 2012 | 09:32 AM

    But the abandoned "Happy Family" Chinese restaurant on the square still remains....



    Christina
    Cumming
  7. report print email
    Really??
    February 28, 2013 | 04:09 PM

    Nice. I actually like it but why use some of the most expensive real estate in the city for a JAIL. Move it to the middle of nowhere like every other county, sell the property and recoup what is being spent on the new courthouse. Prisoners can ride to court instead of walk. It will be like a field trip for them.

    Jeff
    Cumming
  8. report print email
    New development
    June 20, 2013 | 12:20 PM

    It all definitely looks good,but why build a big fancy jail right next to the green space that is supposed to be used by family's and their children?

    What parent would want to take their kids for a walk right next to where criminals are living for free?

    Move the jail outside of downtown and bring them to court in secured vehicles(a lot cheaper than that building)and use the space for something that family's can use or enjoy!

    Just saying...

    Tony
    Cumming(5 min away from downtown)
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