Courthouse construction progresses

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The $13.9 million courthouse addition project in Charlotte County is progressing well, according to project leaders.

Skanska USA was on site the week of Dec. 19 “to observe work in progress. Final approval from (the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality) regarding the site design changes is pending and is expected shortly,” project management team members said in a recent report issued to the county.

Supervisors hired Skanska USA in March for $260,000 to oversee the project. Blair Construction is the project’s general contractor.

The circuit court judge-mandated project comes after years of negotiations with citizens, state officials, judges, supervisors and architectural firms. Judges mandated the new courthouse building, citing a lack of security for the existing courtrooms and circuit court clerk’s office.

The new building, which will be to the rear of the circuit court clerk’s office, will be just less than 30,000 square feet, and will house the circuit, general district and juvenile and domestic relations courtrooms. A connector will add security to the circuit court clerk’s office, using the sole courthouse entrance.

“There’s going to be one entrance to this whole complex,” said County Administrator R.B. Clark. “You’re going to go into the door and there’s going to be an X-Ray machine and weapons identification equipment and a person every minute that this whole complex is open … This is what the judges say we have to have.”

The vehicular entrance and exit to the complex will be one way, per the Virginia Department of Transportation.

According to the latest report, Blair dug, installed rebar and poured a footer along the west side column line during the week of Dec. 19.

“They also received two loads of rebar,” project leaders said in the report. “Blair installed some temporary piping on downspouts to aid in removing water from the building pad at the clerk’s office. Blair had the building pad rerolled to seal off before rain over the weekend.”

The contractor has laid out the next section of footers “so they can continue to work on footers next week when they return from Christmas break. CBR Electrical was on site one day and installed tops on pull boxes. Dunavant installed storm water piping and structures and tied in 10-inch storm line that previously ran through site,” project leaders said in the report.

The engineering firm of Hurt and Proffitt was also on site recently, observing work, looking at rebar, footers, testing concrete and soil compaction on the stormwater trench backfill.

According to the report, during the week of Dec. 26, Blair continued to install footers while work continued on stormwater installation.