- Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 14:34
- Published on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 10:42
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The new $8.4 million Westmoreland County Judicial Center is on budget and on time, according to Westmoreland Board of Supervisors Chairman Darryl Fisher. If construction continues on schedule, county employees hope to be able to occupy the new facility by early next year.
“So far, they are pretty much on schedule,” Fisher said. “They haven’t had any material delays, and there have not been many weather delays.” Andrew Schlosser of Schlosser Company, Inc. of Chesapeake, the construction firm overseeing the judicial center project, has promised it will be finished “on budget and on time.”
Fisher said that the exact date for completion of the project and the date when county employees can move into the new facility is still to be determined. “Probably by August or September, we should know when we can nail some dates down,” Fisher said.
The new 40,000-square foot building will be two stories and is being built on property adjacent to the county’s George English Memorial Building. Westmoreland County’s judges, court officials, the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office will move into the new facility when it is completed.
Westmoreland County Administrator Norm Risavi said that the new judicial center is being constructed with security as a main concern. “There have been a number of concerns about our present situation,” Risavi said. “So we are pleased this is going to solve that problem.”
The courts and most court officials are currently housed in the overcrowded English Building. The Circuit Court Clerk and some other court officials operate from the current courthouse. The Sheriff’s Office and Voter Registrar are housed in separate buildings.
After all of those officials are moved early next year, the English Building will be renovated to allow for meeting facilities for the board of supervisors. Fisher said plans for the courthouse and other buildings being vacated are still up in the air.
“We haven’t made a firm decision yet about what to do with the other space,” Fisher said. “The courthouse could be turned into space for other offices, or it could turned over to the Westmoreland County Museum. That’s something to be decided.” There is a citizen proposal to make the soon-to-be vacant Sheriff’s office and the Voter Registrar’s office available for new business start-ups.
“What I am tickled about,” Fisher said, “is that we have adopted the concept that the new building is not a courthouse. It is a judicial center.” The new building will be an up-to-date, modern, secure facility that has been badly needed by the county, according to county officials who are eager to see its completion next year.