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Halifax County kicks off search for courthouse renovator

SoVaNow.com / July 20, 2017
Halifax County officials have begun soliciting information from building contractors in preparation for carrying out renovations to the Halifax County Courthouse. The first step in choosing a project contractor comes even as Halifax County awaits approval of a zoning permit from the Town of Halifax.

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors began running advertisements this week inviting potential contractors to submit their qualifications for completing the renovations to the dilapidated historic courthouse, which was built in the early 19th century and last expanded more than 30 years ago. The print ads for the Courthouse Project work appeared this week.

Projected to cost around $17 million — based on information from architects — the Courthouse Project generally consists of the demolition of an existing wing of the structure and the addition of 21,000 square feet. Another 30,000 square feet are to be renovated.

Once completed, the new and renovated areas will house two circuit court rooms and expanded chambers for General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The clerk’s office will also be refurbished, and public access to the building will be restricted to an entryway where the new annex is built. The courthouse front door will be sealed.

Along with the expansion and renovation work, the project also includes the demolition of the space that once held the county jail.

Construction is expected to begin in December and reach substantial completion by the summer of 2019.

The deadline for contractors to submit their statements of qualifications is Aug. 18. The information must be submitted to County Administrator James Halasz no later than 2 p.m. that day.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the Planning Commission of the Town of Halifax is set to review the county’s request for a zoning permit needed for work on the courthouse project to begin.

During the Aug. 23 meeting, which is set for 7 p.m., Town Planners will review plans by the county’s architect, CMJW, for improvements to the courthouse building, landscape and site design, as well as related plans by B&B Consultants for changing adjacent streets and parking.

Halifax Town Planners have invited Julie Langan with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to be present at the meeting to offer her input on the county’s plans.

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