ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — Washington County officials say the expansion and renovation of the county courthouse in Abingdon is on schedule and under budget.
Construction of the expansion began in July 2022 and already is showing elements of the designs like courtrooms and holding cells.
Officials say the expansion has been mandated by the Virginia Supreme Court, based on the number of offices in the current courthouse. The current courthouse fell very short of the guidelines.
The design adds several thousand square feet of space, providing more room for court offices and parking under the building.
$30 million is budgeted for both the expansion and renovation projects.
Designs for the expansion were limited to three stories to match other buildings in the town.
“Our architects tried to put in place a facade on this building that will match downtown and hopefully keep the historical value in place for the town,” said Courthouse Committee member Dwayne Ball.
The plan is to finish the expansion before beginning renovations on the old courthouse.
“Once they finish this new section, the idea is everybody from the old courthouse will move here and it’ll be cramped for a while, but they’re used to that anyway, so then they’ll work on the old section and bring it up to standards,” said Ball.
Renovations will include making the courthouse ADA-compliant and more functional.
County officials examined the progress Wednesday and are eager for the renovations to begin.
“It’s something that we can be proud of. It’s not just a building,” said Board of Supervisors member Randy Pennington. “It gives more room for judges. It gives more room for holding cells. It’s just what they’ve had to operate with before, to where it will be when it’s completed, is a totally different operation.”
Ball said the expansion will hopefully be complete by January. Offices will move into the new expansion while renovations happen in the old courthouse. The whole project has a target finish date of January 2025.