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$3M jail renovation moves forward

A renovation project for the Rockdale County Jail, funded by the penny sales tax, is set to be completed nearly $3 million dollars.

The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the project to move on to the construction and building phase during their Tuesday morning voting session. New South Constructions, an Atlanta-based company, will oversee the project.

The project cost has a guaranteed maximum limit of $2,905,911. All the funds will come from special purpose local option sales tax money.

More than half of the funds will go towards renovating the main jail building and administration offices, which include adding security glass, frames, and doors. The medical areas will also receive security glass.

The old jail portion, what's called The Octagon, in building seven will receive improvements to the roof, replacement of the doors and receive six new HVACs to replace the old materials.

The project initially began November of 2011 when the county hired Wakefield Beasley and Associates as the architect. New South was hired in September 2013.

"In order to make sure this project was collaborative and not adversarial, we made sure that we hired a contractor just after we hired the architect," said Andrew Hammer, capital project manager for Rockdale County. "They work all together to develop the design and make sure that we stay on budget all the way through the design process. That way when we get to construction and we present the final construction budget, we're within budget."

In other business, the board unanimously approved a contract worth about $1.2 million with Marietta-based C.W. Matthews Contracting to resurface 3.8 miles of road in the Rockdale.

The money will come from the 2011 SPLOST Transportation fund.

Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness had some questions about whether this contract was to only fill patches in the chosen roads or resurface the whole roads. Van Ness stated she's only seen patching, or filling in potholes with asphalt, done to two previous roads approved for resurfacing - Klondike Road and Flat Shoals Road.

"The patching is usually done ahead of the resurfacing," said Miguel Valentin, director of the Rockdale County Department of Transportation. "It hasn't been done (to Klondike and Flat Shoals) yet."

Prior to adjournment, the board went into executive session to discuss land acquisition and threatening pending litigation.