CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Va. — In a July 12 meeting, members of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved amended plans for construction of the county’s new courthouse, and awarded a nearly $11.5 million construction contract. The board selected Blair Construction of Gretna, Va., to build the new two-story courthouse, which will span approximately 28,000 square feet and include a basement level. The project’s total cost is estimated at $13.9 million.
The county’s existing 1820s-era courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Its modernization has been a point of contention for many historians and local community members who feel the Jeffersonian structure (Thomas Jefferson is listed as the building’s architect) should remain untouched due to its historic and architectural significance. Concerned community members have also insisted at previous board meetings that any new building should not detract from the existing courthouse’s design and stature.
Charlotte County officials, however, argue that the county is in need of modern and more functional facilities. The project was prompted by a lawsuit filed by Circuit Court Judge Joel C. Cunningham against the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors and has been in development for nearly five years. The suit claimed the historic courthouse poses security concerns and requires necessary upgrades.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture of Richmond, Va., designed the county’s new, soon-to-be-constructed courthouse. The firm was tasked specifically with developing a facility that will meet current codes and standards while also preserving its historic and much loved predecessor. Glavé & Holmes Architecture’s design features a new standalone facility with a connective section linking it to an existing building, which houses clerks offices, with an exterior style that will complement the historic structure. New parking areas will also be included.
International project development and construction group Skanska is serving as the county’s project manager. Consultants include civil engineering firm Draper Aden Associates, also of Richmond; Washington-based structural engineering firm Keast & Hood Co.; and 2rw Consultants Inc., a Charlottesville, Va.-based MEP engineering firm.