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Exterior restoration begins on Historic Jail
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The restoration of the Historic Jail continues and repairs to the building's exterior will likely be completed June 1, county Special Projects Coordinator Cheryl Delk said Tuesday.


The restoration was allocated $500,000 in the 2005 SPLOST, and construction began recently on the first phase of the project, which involves repairing the exterior and structure of the building, which is currently too dangerous to open to the public, Delk said. The front porch is also being restored. Beatty Construction of Austell is being paid $269,400 for the work.

The jail will eventually be converted into a historic center, but the interior is not expected to be completed until several years from now, assuming the project gets an additional $1.2 million from the 2011 SPLOST.

The construction on an interpretive kiosk outside of the jail should be completed by May. The kiosk was funded by a grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which will also pay for display cases and interpretive panels. Each panel highlights places of historic or natural significance in the county, Delk said. The circular stone base has the names of the three rivers in Newton County in both English and the appropriate American Indian name.

Delk said interested citizens and tourists will be able to park and use the monument to plan a county tour or to learn more about the county. She doesn't yet know if the public would be allowed into the building after the structure is repaired.

The restoration shows the community's dedication to preserving history, Delk said.