Living. Growing. Prospering.
Douglasville, GA - The Douglas County Board of Commissioners has announced remodeling and construction from the Douglas County Courthouse Security Project has been completed and the front entrance which has been closed since February 2019 will now open on Tuesday, August 13th at 8:00 a.m.
Dr. Romona Jackson Jones, Chairman of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, made the official announcement, during a press conference held inside Citizens Hall of the Courthouse flanked by Douglas County Judges, Board of Commissioners and representatives from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, project manager, Comprehensive Program Services and construction company Barnsley Consulting. "This will be the only entrance and exit for the general public at this time since enhancing new security measures," Chairman Jones said. "The side entrances, commonly known as Truth and Liberty entrance will now be closed and only used as emergency exits only."
The public visiting the Courthouse will notice a few significant changes. "Upon entry into the Courthouse, visitors will notice an expanded waiting area and multiple screening stations for convenience," said Rick Martin, Director of Communications & Community Relations. "The Sheriff's staff will be able to operate multiple stations during peak times to move visitors more quickly through screening."
"Once visitors clear the screening area, they will notice a more open flow to all areas of the Courthouse," Martin said. "Both sides of the atrium will be open to allow visitors to freely access all departments within the Courthouse facility. New signage will direct visitors to new office areas for certain county departments."
Finally, visitors to the courthouse will no longer be able to drive around the back of the facility. There was no loss of parking but the rear of the Courthouse will now be a restricted area for secured parking and inmate movement.
What began as an office space expansion study in 2008 finally moved forward in 2017 when the Board of Commissioners contracted with Comprehensive Program Services (CPS) to provide the county with an updated security evaluation for the courthouse facility. Working closely with the Sheriff and his staff, the Courts, the Board of Commissioners and the County Administrator; a plan was developed to meet three primary objectives.
A design was developed to meet these objectives in the most cost-efficient way possible and to minimize the need for additional personnel where possible. Working with a seasoned architect and a contractor with expertise in court security, a new screening area and additional court space was created. There are many challenges in remodeling an existing facility, particularly one that is 20 years old.
The primary challenge was expanding the security screening area within the current footprint of the facility and matching the design of the original structure. The new changes to the courthouse meet all these criteria. The CEO of CPS, Eric Johnson, said "this project demonstrates that through the leadership of the Douglas County Sheriff and his staff, the Judges and the Board of Commissioners, the citizens of the county can feel more secure and take pride in their renovated Courthouse facility."