THOMASVILLE — Three architects with expertise in historic preservation are scheduled to make formal presentations to Thomas County commissioners next month.

Thursday, Sept. 7, is the tentative date for architects to meet with county commissioners about renovation/restoration of the historic courthouse and construction of a multipurpose administrative building.

Presentations probably will be limited to 45 minutes each.

The architects — Jack Pyburn and Gene Surber of Atlanta firms and Bill Rutherford of Tallahassee, Fla. — have made previous presentations to commissioners and/or the courthouse design committee.

Some 70 percent of those who cast ballots in the July 18 primary voted for a six-year $36 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax of which $16 million will fund restoration/renovation of the 148-year-old courthouse and construction of the multipurpose building.

Final arrangements for the September presentations are being completed, county manager Mike Stephenson said Thursday.

Officials are gathering information about sources for funding the work.

“It will be six years before we get up all the funding,” said Commissioner Mary Jo Beverly, chairman of the commission public properties committee.

“We need to go ahead and do something,” Beverly said, noting courthouse security needs and concerns.

Commissioners will make the final decision about the hiring of an architect — with input from the courthouse design committee, a panel made up of local citizens.

Beverly estimated that once an architect is hired, it will be six months before design plans are ready.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 220.

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