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DeKalb County parking deck in Decatur slated for renovation

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DeKalb County parking deck in Decatur slated for renovation

The DeKalb County Courthouse parking deck is located at 125 W. Trinity Place in Decatur. Photo obtained via Google Maps.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The DeKalb County parking deck at the intersection of Commerce Drive and West Trinity Place in Decatur will soon be renovated. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners deferred voting on a contract at its May 9 meeting.

The contract will be on the board of commissioner’s agenda on May 23.

During the Decatur City Commission meeting on May 15, City Manager Andrea Arnold said the county will begin renovations on June 1 and the work is anticipated to take about 14 months. The renovation will be done in phases and some of the levels will still be available. The county needs 32 parking spaces in the city during the construction.

“We have identified 13 spaces on East Trinity, beside the greenspace there owned by the school system, 10 spaces on Commerce adjacent to the parking deck, and nine spaces on Commerce adjacent to the Maloof building,” Arnold said. “These will be available by special permit only Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m..”

The parking spaces will remain open to the public in the evenings on weekdays and on the weekends.

According to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners agenda, the work will consist of “repairs to concrete and steel beams, columns, connections, steel plates, expansion joints, waterproofing, new electrical LED lighting, inspection of existing panel boards, plumbing, HVAC unit, fire protection piping, etc.”

The commissioners are considering awarding a contract to Restocon Corporation in the amount of about $9.9 million.

The project would be funded through the special purpose local option sales tax and is part of other renovations to the county courthouse in downtown Decatur.

“A need assessment was completed on this project in 2018 and updated in 2021, which addresses major deficiencies that have occurred over the years for the courthouse parking deck,” the SPLOST project initiation package states. “This project has long been neglected for basic maintenance to preserve the structural component of this facility. Throughout the facility, there are signs of exposed steel members, crumbling concrete and other items that pose a safety factor. The parking deck project is utilized by administration staff, courthouse staff and the public.”

During the board of commissioners meeting on May 9, Commissioner Ted Terry said he supports the improvements at the courthouse and the parking deck “because it’s outdated, it’s dark. All of these repairs are going to be important to make it a cleaner, safer, more modernized parking deck.”

He added that two things are missing from the contract related to aesthetics and green infrastructure. Adding art and greenery or green infrastructure would create an aesthetic appeal.

“Instead of looking at a gray or muted parking deck, there is some aspect of identity in place,” Terry said. “There are also environmental benefits. Incorporating plants or other greenery into an otherwise gray and muted facility could improve air quality and reduce urban heat island effects here in our own county seat, the city of Decatur.”

There could also be an opportunity for community engagement to have county and courthouse employees work with an artist “to develop a sense of place and identify for the parking deck that they visit five days a week throughout the year and throughout their careers here,” Terry said.

He suggested that the board of commissioners ask the county administration to come back with a recommendation within 60 days for public art and green infrastructure to be added to the parking deck.

During a county operations committee meeting on May 2, Chief Operation Officer Zach Williams said the county hadn’t had any meets to modify or create a new request for proposals to add art or green infrastructure, but said there are still opportunities to do so.

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