County officials and deputies from the Davidson County Sheriff's Office participated Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of what will be the sheriffs’ new home.

Dan Pruitt, senior project manager for Barnhill Contracting Co., said construction is slated to be completed May 2015. The facility will include a nearly 45,000-square-foot building that will sit on 5.8 acres just off U.S. 64 near County Home Road purchased in December 2011.

The facility will relieve overcrowding at the office currently located at the Davidson County Courthouse.

“We're very excited about it; it's going to give us some room,” Grice said. “We literally had some people in closets. One detective was in a closet where only he, his desk and one chair could fit in there, so it's time to add some more room.”

The project will cost a total of $9.3 million, including the purchase of the land the facility will sit on. More than $1 million of the project was paid for by drug forfeiture funds seized by DCSO. Davidson County Manager Robert Hyatt said the majority of the project will be covered by a loan.

Grice said commissioners have developed a plan to utilize space at the courthouse for courtroom and judges. The Davidson County Detention Center will remain at the courthouse, he said.

A key upgrade to the new sheriff's office will be additional parking and the addition of a kennel to house K-9s when needed. Grice said the sheriff's office has been at the old facility at the courthouse for 56 years and hopes the new one will last at least 50 years.

“It's the culmination of two years worth of planning and work,” Grice said. “We've spent a lot of time at the sheriff's office assessing the needs and developing a general footprint for the building.”

Dwayne Childress, the county's purchasing director, explained county officials' decision to use a “design-build” method, which reportedly will save money and time. According to the Design-Build Institute of America, this method of project delivery allows a construction crew to work under a single contract with the project owner — in this case, the county — to provide both design and construction services.

Childress said this means both the contractor and architect were at the table when the building was being designed. He said the design-build process results in a quicker pace, and the contractor is committed to a timetable of completing the project by May 2015.

“Time is money, quite frankly,” Childress said. “Traditionally, you'd have an adversarial role between the architect, the owner and the contractor. This allows us to all be on the same team.”

Pruitt agrees with Childress that the practicality allowed by the design-build will improve the process of construction.

“We are excited about it,” he said. “We were very fortunate to ... partner with Davidson County. We have put together a very functional, yet attractive facility.”


Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3578, or at