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Commissioners OK new sheriffs office
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There are still a few items left to address, but the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is settled into its new home.

County commissioners approved the certificate of substantial completion for the ECSO administrative complex, after the contractors resolved problems that led to commissioners holding off on signing the certificate.

“We’ve still got minor issues to take care of,” said county community relations director Adam Kobek. “The major stuff, we have resolved.”

There had been leaks from the roof after the sheriff’s office personnel moved in last month. But Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said there are no leaks now.

“We have had plenty of rain,” he said. “But we have reached a good point where we can move forward.”

The old sheriff’s office complex was plagued by leaks, leading to a variety of problems.

“We’ve flood tested the roof completely now and we have made some repairs to the roof,” said Ryan Price of Rives Worrell, the jail and sheriff’s office complex contractor.

The new sheriff’s office is 21,198 square feet. The budget, including contracted items and items that are the county’s responsibility, is just over $2 million.

The sheriff’s office had relocated to the county annex on Highway 119 in late March 2014 while the building was torn down and rebuilt. The sheriff’s office moved back in Dec. 15. A temporary certificate of occupancy was issued Dec. 1, and a permanent certificate was issued Dec. 12.

The new jail opened in March and work on the new sheriff’s administrative complex began in February 2013. The jail itself was built for $14.5 million, and the 56,000 square foot facility replaced an undersized and outdated building that was 35,000 square feet.

“One of our biggest things the last time was a month after we got into the building, we started having water issues,” the sheriff said.

The company that built the old office also went out of business, McDuffie added. The sheriff said the old flat roof also added to the problems.
“The flat roofs just don’t seem to work,” he said. “This roof isn’t spongy and bouncy like the other one was. I think we’re ahead of the game.”

Said Chairman Wendall Kessler: “We want you to be happy.”

The county is holding $173,495 in retainage. Approving the certificate of substantial completion releases $98,699 to the contractors, with the county still holding nearly $75,000. Price said the roof has a 20-year warranty and there is a 10-year warranty for any latent defect the county discovers.

“That’s an additional coverage we provide,” he said. “We’ve been in business for 90 years. We’re not going anywhere. We do strive for building perfection.”

Open house
The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office will host an open house Feb. 8 from 3-5 p.m. for its new administrative complex at First Street and Highway 21 in Springfield.