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Countys projects advancing
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The Liberty County Board of Commissioners received updates during Tuesday’s monthly meeting on the construction and renovations around Liberty County.

The three projects — the justice center, the old courthouse and the Liberty County Community Complex are in various stages, according to project managers. The justice center cost approximately $22 million; the courthouse renovations are expected to cost about $2 million and the community complex will cost about $4 million, according to Joey Brown, county administrator.

"We are very, very excited that this project is coming down to the end and we’re able to see the end of it," Pope Construction project manager Bill Vickery told commissioners of the justice center. "It is absolutely wonderful. It is without a doubt, an icon for this county and this community."

Pope Construction was responsible for the justice center building project that has taken about two years to complete, Vickery said.

He showed photos of the various stages of the justice center on South Main Street and said the facility should be complete by April 15. Carpeting, electrical wiring and woodwork are almost finished and furniture should be coming in March 11, Vickery said. He encouraged the board to visit and do a walkthrough of the new facility in the upcoming weeks.

"It’s crunch time. We’ve had zero hiccups, honestly," Vickery said of the project’s construction. "It’s something to be truly excited about."

Commissioners also received updates on future projects, including the renovations scheduled for the courthouse and the additions to the county community complex, which is housed in Midway City Hall. Construction plans are expected to be finalized in April.

April Mundy, project manager and Architect David Holton of J.W. Buckley and Associates, Inc. conducted presentations for both projects.

Mundy announced that the plan is to replace old windows with more energy efficient windows, add new entry doors, fix chipped paint and restore old bricks as just a few of the pieces of the overall project to restore the old building. A final contract bid for construction will be awarded in April, Mundy said.

"Our primary goal for this job is first off, to stop the leaks," Holton said. "Cause there’s been a lot of damage that has been done."

Brown said the construction for the building is expected to take about 10 months for the courthouse and said he is happy with the progression of the justice center project thus far.

"The other two projects are yet to be let for contract. We try to look at the overall scheme several times to make sure we have examined all angles before construction," he said.

Sketches for a "butterfly" pavilion at the community complex were presented, but questioned by commissioners as to whether it was big enough if there were to be an outdoor concert or event.

Commissioners Eddie Walden and Donald Lovette remarked that the pavilion that will be used for picnics ought to be bigger so families can enjoy the area and not be in such tight quarters. Both liked the design of the new pavilion, but Walden said that the growth on that end of the county will continue, so it should be something that is sufficient for the area and future plans of use.

"If you’re going to have a nice pavilion … that’s nice for short term … let’s look at something a little bit bigger there," Lovette also suggested.

Drawings are about 80 percent complete for the design of the complex. Holton said the pavilion could be easily expanded and that the company would look into making a bigger design.

The complex is expected to have a walking trail, media center, junior Olympic sized pool and area for outdoor concerts, and other community-related activities, Brown said in an earlier report.

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