At the ribbon cutting and dedicationceremony of the new county administration building Sunday afternoon keynote speaker Lt. Governor Casey Cagle praised the leadership of Newton County as well as the taxpayers who funded the building's construction.
"It's very rare that you find that specialness that is created right here in Newton County," Cagle said in his remarks before a large gathering of county commissioners, Covington City Council members, state officials, county judges, county employees and members of the public.
County Chairman Aaron Varner praised the taxpayers of Newton County who approved the Special Purpose
Local Option Sales Tax which partially funded construction of the $9 million building ($5 million was funded through SPLOST and $4 million through the sale of bonds).
Varner also thanked Newton County Project Manager Ray McFadden for his work in getting the building completed on-schedule and on-budget.
"He's been a very good asset to Newton County," Varner said, noting McFadden's work on the Newton County Detention Center, a $33 million project which was also completed on-time and on-budget for the county in 2004.
McFadden in turn thanked the Board of Commissioners, architects, planners and the construction company, Hogan Construction Group, LLC for smooth communication and coordination during the project which he said allowed it to proceed on schedule.
"Successful projects are done with successful human resources," McFadden said. "We had the quality partners to team up and build this in spades."
Rowland Davidson, a principal with the architectural firm Lyman, Davidson, Dooley Inc. said his firm worked hard on matching the design of the new building to that of the surrounding architecture of the Covington square.
"We were very inspired by your historic courthouse and other structures," Davidson said.
Pastor David Payne of The Church at Covington gave the invocation for the 60,000 square foot building (20,000 square feet on each of the building's three floors).
A presentation of a flag formerly flown above the U.S. Capitol Building and made available by District 8 Congressman Jim Marshall was presented by Becky Ramsey of the Sgt. Newton Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.
The flag was raised for the first time above the administration building by members of the Georgia Army National Guard, B Company 1st Battalion (Mechanized) 121st Infantry.
T.K. Adams then directed the Newton County Community Band in a performance of the national anthem.
The administration building houses approximately 100 county employees and nine county departments. They are Board of Elections, Tax Assessors, Tax/Tag, the County Extension Office, Planning and Zoning, Health and Environment, Water and Resources, Information Technology and Geographic Information Systems.