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Coming off the July Fourth holiday the public is advised that the Grady County Courthouse will be closed on Friday and Monday due to ongoing renovations.
Beginning Friday, crews with A.B.M. Industries will be wrapping up work on the installation of a cooling tower heat exchanger and efficiency pumps for a new air conditioning and boiler system at the courthouse.
While this work is taking place and the existing system is taken out, there will not be any air conditioning inside the courthouse, which prompted county officials to close the facility for the two days.
“We anticipate the courthouse H.V.A.C. system installation to take three full days to complete and it may possibly slip into a fourth day. A.B.M. will work from Friday through the weekend until Monday to get the job done and the offices back open for business on Tuesday. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience,” said Grady County administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III.
Johnson told county commissioners Tuesday he did not want county personnel to be forced to work in a facility without air conditioning in July. He also said there was a possibility the work could be completed by Sunday, but rather than take a chance that the work takes longer than expected he had recommended closing two full days.
“We are very pleased with the work that A.B.M. and their contractors have done so far throughout the county and its buildings. While many of the projects have been extensive, the crews have been as accommodating as possible to insure effectiveness in the day-to-day business of the county offices and departments,” the administrator said.
To date, A.B.M. has completed the vast majority of its work including the renovations to the Clerk of Superior Court office on the first floor of the courthouse, renovations of the former Senior Center that is now the new commission office, several small H.V.A.C. upgrades, installation of L.E.D. lighting in county facilities as well as other electrical projects, according to Johnson.
Once work is completed at the courthouse, A.B.M. crews will shift to the Grady County Detention Center air conditioning installation project.
“That project will take a good bit of time to complete,” the administrator said.
However, he reported Tuesday that A.B.M. is on track to complete all upgrades by the start of 2022.
Under the terms of the county’s contract with A.B.M., the savings from the upgrades will generate sufficient savings to pay A.B.M. for the work the firm has done and for the new equipment that has been purchased and installed in county facilities.
Johnson stresses that no additional taxpayer money will be required to pay for these improvements and renovations. “It will come solely from the overall savings in the cost of utilities,” Johnson said.
The Grady County Detention Center does not currently have air conditioning and the administrator said that in the summertime it become oppressively hot and is an issue not only for inmates but Sheriff’s Office personnel.
Grady County Commission Chairman Phillip Drew said it will be necessary to remove the top of the inmate pod at the detention center in order to install the air conditioning equipment. The absence of air conditioning in the summer, according to Chairman Drew, often forces Sheriff’s Office employees to have to change shirts just after walking through the jail.
Commissioner Ray Prince said that he had read numerous articles that indicate that facilities that have air conditioning have less issues with inmates than those not air conditioned.