Construction on a new parking deck to replace the lot behind the historic courthouse in downtown Canton is set to begin later this year, according to Cherokee County staff.
The county-funded project is planned to be seven stories high with 586 spaces, according to Stacey Williams, the administrative services agency director for Cherokee County.
Williams told the Canton City Council Thursday that the parking deck, which is a county project, will have 24/7 free use to the public. The deck will also include six electric car charging stations, and an additional 15 parking spaces behind the deck for the Cherokee County Arts Center.
Across North Street from the deck, there will be a covered walkway to a security pavilion which is located on the right of the front parking deck, Williams said.
Part of the construction process will include tearing down a retaining wall to the left of the deck to make a driveway entrance into the Riverview Cemetery behind the parking deck, Williams said. This would also allow for more space for the entrance through the deck.
Erika Neldner, Cherokee County’s communications director, said Friday that the board of commissioners are expected to choose a general contractor during Tuesday’s board of commissioners meeting. The project will be separated into two parts.
Part one will include pre-construction services and value analysis. The total cost of this phase is $28,140, with an estimated completion in November. At that time, the county expects to begin construction work, Neldner said, which will take about 12 to 14 months. The project is projected to cost a total of $13 million, according to county documents.
Mayor Bill Grant and Council Member Brooke Schmidt said Thursday they were concerned the Cherokee Arts Center would become hidden behind the seven-story parking deck. In response to these concerns, Williams said he and county officials can install wayfinding signs to help direct people to the arts center and cemetery.
Next to the historic courthouse parking lot, the parking deck behind the Cherokee County Justice Center will be torn down during the construction of the justice center, Williams said. This construction will include a new annex to accommodate for the addition of more courtrooms.
Williams said county officials completed an assessment to determine the parking deck spaces needed, taking into account the expansion of more courtrooms, number of employees, court hearings, and the downtown area.