Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. The Editor can be reached at 770-468-7583 or at editor(at)PikeCountyTimes(dot)com. Pike County Times is a website for citizens to keep up with local events and stay informed about Pike County government. It began on November 13, 2006 as a watchdog on county government and has turned into an online newspaper.

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Most of the members of SPLOST Committee are pictured here though Tommy Burnsed had already left when this picture was taken and Jeff Kennerly wasn't able to attend this walk through of the Courthouse. Pictured are Merritt Spier, Riley Shackelford, Chairman Joy Walker, Doug Rounds, and Director of Planning and Development, David Allen, who served as the county's project manager on the SPLOST renovation project.
SPLOST Committee Members Tour the Renovated Courthouse
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - Members of the SPLOST Committee toured the Pike County Courthouse last month to see how the renovation with SPLOST dollars has improved the facility. Planning and Zoning Director David Allen gave a tour through the Courthouse as he has been the project manager and worked with the contractor and architect after the previous county manager resigned.

Voters passed the current SPLOST in 2011 through a majority of voters determining that a SPLOST for one cent would be charged throughout the county for a period of five years to raise an estimated $5,400,000 for these two projects as well as the costs associated with the interest and debt on the General Obligation Debt needed to fund the Courthouse project to completion. According to the Notice of Election, the Courthouse was listed first with Roads, Streets, and Bridges second. Voters passed this referendum after extensive work from Committee Chair Joy Walker and members of the SPLOST Committee.

Director Allen advised SPLOST members that Carter and Associates has a punch list of items that must be completed before the project is complete. He told these committee members, "We appreciate you. You laid the groundwork for this."

Structurally, the Courthouse is the same as it was before it began in the original part of the Courthouse with the addition of new windows and trim. The 30 foot addition added 11,000 square feet to the 1895 Courthouse. And it is hard to tell the difference between the old and the new from the outside. Director Allen told how the bricklayers had to relay bricks several time at the beginning of the addition because they were laying them too well. They had to redo their work in order to make it match the stressed look of the 100 year old Courthouse.

Without the addition, he said, the county would have had to move people out of the Courthouse. With the addition, there is room for all of the offices plus room to expand the Superior Court records and there is now a separate entrance for use by the Sheriff's Office for prisoners.

The Committee heard how United Bank is donating the chairs needed to fit the new workspace in the Tax Commissioner's Office. They also heard how Contractor John W. Spratlin and Son Inc. of Lincolnton, Georgia made additions like the wooden ceiling and lights on the underside of the balcony in the main courtroom and did not charge the county any addition funds to do this. David Allen said that his experience working with them has been very pleasant and very professional.

Court will probably begin in the beginning of March in order to ensure the finalization of audio and video in the main courtroom. Notice will go out to the public before Court is moved from its current location back into the Pike County Courthouse.

Click here to read more about this SPLOST and to see before and after pictures of Courthouse.

We even went up in the attic to see the insulation and work that had been done up there. History was left behind as you can see from this old loans board. I even took a trip up to the top of the clock tower at the urging of a good friend who enjoyed documenting the trip probably more than I did. But I can say that I have been up there once at least!
Zenfolio has some of my favorite pictures from the project. All photo purchases support Pike County's only free online newspaper. Thanks for your support!