Groundbreaking Friday for new law enforcement center | News | The Press and Standard

by | May 31, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: May 31, 2017 at 11:08 am

The ceremonial shovels will be out Friday afternoon as Colleton County breaks ground on the most expensive county project covered by the voter-approved Capital Projects Sales Tax.

Officials will gather near the intersection of Mable T. Willis Boulevard and Hendersonville Highway Friday at 2:30 p.m. for the ceremonial start of construction of the county’s new Law Enforcement Center.

The ballot issue voters approved several years ago allowing for a one cent sales tax increase to generate funds for capital projects required the list of the projects to be undertaken be part of the referendum language.

The largest allocation of the sales tax revenue, $6.6 million, was dedicated to funding for Walterboro’s I-95 Loop project. It was second on the priority list.

The Law Enforcement Center construction, allocated $5.1 million in sales tax revenue, was fourth on the list and the top county government project in terms of funding.

County Council hired Moseley Architects and agreed to pay $371,500 to cover the cost of the design work for the new law enforcement center.

The new center will provide a new home for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Colleton County Magistrate’s Court and E-911 dispatch center.

The proposed facility will be approximately 17,000 square feet and allow the sheriff’s office to have all its various operations contained in one location.

Currently, the sheriff’s office personnel are scattered in different locations throughout Walterboro.

In a previous story, Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland said that his main goal “is to get everything under the same roof.”

As the construction gets set to begin, the sheriff’s office administration and other facets of the office’s operations such as road patrol, civil warrants, 911 addressing are located in a portion of the Colleton Center, the former Hampton Street Elementary building constructed in 1940.

The office’s records department and investigation division are located in the basement of the Klein Street building that also houses the Colleton County magistrate offices. Next to that building is the county’s detention center.

Over at the Warshaw building, the E-911 dispatch center handles emergency calls.

Strickland said having the various sheriff’s office operations spread throughout Walterboro is a breeding ground for inefficiency.

The design will allow the county to construct a new detention center on the 52-acre tract of land in the future.

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