Courthouse completion pushed to March

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Substantial completion on Charlotte County’s new courthouse has been pushed back to the end of March, according to Project Superintendent Tim Burge.

Burge said the reason for the delay was weather conditions. “Everyday it rains, two or three days after it, until it dries, we can’t do any work. It’s too muddy,” he said.

Although the weather has not been ideal, Burge said some outside work was accomplished due to one week of good weather.

He said the brick mason has been able to make small progress as well.

“This month, progress at the courthouse has been very trying,” Burge said. “A whole lot is still going on inside even though it’s been nasty outside.”

He said some of the inside work included setting judges benches and painting doors, in addition to erecting steel on the connector between the new courthouse and existing clerk’s office and putting the tresses in place.

“Everybody is ready to go, but the weather has not been cooperating thus far,” Burge said.

A report from Burge also said, “Blair (Construction) has been coordinating work on site, cleaning up site, monitoring safety items and site maintenance, maintain and monitor temporary heat, and installing brick ledge west side.” In addition, light fixtures in the building were installed on all levels.

The plumber has also set commodes and sinks.

According to the board, the building is set to contain around 16 bathrooms.

“Can you explain why we need so many bathrooms,” asked Phenix/Aspen Supervisor Donna Fore at a February meeting of the Supervisors. “What drove that number? That seems like a lot of bathrooms.”

Burge said the reasoning for the number of bathrooms reflects different areas of the court house.

“You have the public area on each floor, they have to have a male and a female and a family bathroom. That’s 6,” said Burge. “The jurors room, we have two jurors rooms, upstairs and downstairs. They both have to have men and women’s bathrooms in order to keep them from the public, that 4 more. The two judges have a bathroom for the two offices they’re in. That gives you 12. Then, the court services has a bathroom, the General District Clerk has a bathroom and the J&D Clerk has a bathroom.” Burge said there were also restroom facilities for prisoners in holding.

Fore said she didn’t understand why the clerk’s could not use the public restroom facilities in the building.

“I don’t understand why clerks have to have their own special bathroom,” she said. “That seems excessive. Judges, that’s different, but clerks? What makes them so special …”

Chairman of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors Gary Walker said the Supreme Court of Virginia set specific guidelines that must be followed for the construction.

Burge said the courthouse budget remains unchanged at $13.9 million.