County to pick who will build new courthouse today

County to pick who will build new courthouse today
September 06
04:00 2018

Commissioners also considering options on courthouse parking

Forsyth County commissioners will choose who will build the new Hall of Justice during their meeting today.

The county received three proposals for the project, which has a $120 million budget. Each proposal has two companies teaming-up for the project. A majority of a committee made of county staff and stakeholders recommended Whiting-Turner Contracting, a national construction firm, which is teamed with Holt Brothers Construction, a Raleigh-based minority-owned company, founded by former football stars Terrence and Torry Holt. The commissioners, however, may choose any of the three proposals.

The other two proposals were from locally owned Frank L. Blum Construction Co. teamed with Barnhill Contracting Co. and Samet Corp. teamed with Balfour Beatty Construction. Each of the companies has an extensive portfolio of construction projects.

During last week’s briefing on Aug. 30, County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon reiterated his support for Greensboro-based Samet to get the project after hearing sub-contractors praise the company.

“I know whoever builds this courthouse, it’s going to be packed with African-Americans,” said Witherspoon. “And, by far, in my opinion, Samet has been better in treating African-American contractors more fairly.”

The new courthouse is planned as two five-story buildings joined by a pedestrian bridge. One building will be for court facilities that’ll be built in a vacant lot beside the Government Center on Chestnut Street and the other will be an office building across the street that’ll replace the current parking lot there.

A courthouse parking deck is also planned to replace the southern parking lot on the other side of the neighboring Wells Fargo deck. In a separate item in last week’s briefing, commissioners considered options on what that deck will be like or if it’ll exist at all.

Bill Powell with LT Consulting, made a presentation showing four options for courthouse parking for employees, visitors and jurors:

1. Don’t build a deck and continue the current practice of leasing spaces in downtown lots and decks. Leasing 230 spaces would cost almost $3.9 million over 20 years. These spaces consist of the existing southern lot that the deck would’ve been built on and finding replacement parking for the lot that’ll be lost to courthouse office construction.

2. Build a three-and-a-half level deck with 327 spaces for about $5.8 million. This would require leasing spaces for jurors and future growth that is expected by 2035.

3. Build a five-and-half level deck with 549 spaces for about $9.9 million that would accommodate much of the courthouse’s projected growth, with about 150 spaces that would be subleased until they’re needed.4. Build a six-and-half level deck with 660 spaces for $11.8 million that accommodates all projected growth with about 250 spaces that would be subleased until they’re needed.

All decks include secure parking underneath the structure. County Commissioner Vice Chairman Don Martin asked about building a two-story deck and then adding to it in the future.

Witherspoon said continuing to lease spaces was the “most economical” option and then the county could come back in 20 years and see if it needs to build a deck for growth. However, he said he was willing to defer to those who work at the courthouse if they had other opinions

The parking deck was just a discussion item and will come back to the commissioners at a future time.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors