• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Thursday, August 20, 2020

Forsyth County cuts ribbon on future courthouse parking deck

The ribbon was cut on a parking deck that was jointly funded by Forsyth County and the City of Winston-Salem on Thursday, August 20. The new parking deck represents the first step in the construction of Forsyth County’s new courthouse.

The new parking deck is located near the vacant lot beside the Forsyth County Government Center where the future replacement for the Forsyth County Hall of Justice will be built. To comply with social distancing guidelines, the parking deck ribbon cutting had a limited number of attendees and was streamed on Facebook. The speakers at the ceremony were Forsyth County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler, Commissioner Vice Chair Don Martin, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and Leo Stepansky, the Sr. Vice President of Shelco, which designed and built the deck. They were joined for the ribbon cutting by county commissioners Fleming El-Amin, Richard Linville, Tonya McDaniel, and Gloria Whisenhunt; city council members John Larson and Jeff MacIntosh; and Clerk of Court Renita Linville.

Remarks at the ceremony touched on how the joint venture to address the parking needs of both city and county government saved money for both organizations. Speakers also emphasized how excited they were about the upcoming new courthouse construction effort.

Plyler said how happy he was “...to do this today as a prelude to what’s coming.” He added, “I can tell you without hesitation or reservation right now it’s going to be one of the best things we’ve had in a long time.”

The new $12.3 million Forsyth County Municipal Parking Deck has six levels and approximately 670 spaces with entrances on Chestnut and Church streets. It will open for use on August 24. The first four floors of the deck will be used by county employees and court staff. The fifth and sixth floors of the deck are reserved for use by employees of the City of Winston-Salem, which contributed approximately 35 percent of the project’s cost.

The deck is an important step in building the new courthouse since it frees up the North Chestnut Street Parking Lot directly across the street from the construction site. The lot will be used for material lay down, staging, and temporary job trailers during construction. Once the courthouse is complete, the Chestnut Lot will transition to free juror parking and paid public parking. Approximately a third of the spaces under the Wells Fargo deck, which are used by the county, will also be converted to juror and public parking.

The deck has LED lights, automated transition lighting, and daylight harvesting. On bright sunny days, the system will automatically dim or turn off lights to conserve power while maintaining a safe minimum light level throughout the deck.

Subcontractor prequalification has been completed and detailed estimating will begin in the fall for the future courthouse, with a groundbreaking planned in 2021. Construction is anticipated to take up to two and a half years. The new courthouse, at approximately 250,000 square feet, will replace the 175,000 square foot Hall of Justice located on 200 N. Main St. and built in 1976.

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