By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Courthouse project continues to move along.
Right now, the design process is ongoing. According to Assistant County Administrator Jon Lanford, the first package’s design (bid package A) is a few weeks behind schedule presented to the Board of Supervisors in April, but the main courthouse construction (bid package B)— scheduled to begin in May 2023—is still on schedule.
“[The courthouse project is] probably six weeks behind in the design,” Lanford stated in a recent interview. “We’re looking to bid around the end of July/the first of August.”
Lanford thinks that the slight delay could cause a slip in the main project’s schedule but assumes the main project could still start up on time with the construction of the preliminary projects starting this fall.
“We’re working hard,” Lanford said about the county’s focus on the project. “We could have maintained [the initial] schedule, but things came up as we started the design. We needed to take some time to answer questions and complete due diligence because it’s such an important project to not only the county but to the town [of Fincastle]. This is a huge impact on everybody. The schedule slippage isn’t because of anything other than us completing some additional due diligence to ensure we got it right before [construction] started.”
At the April Board of Supervisors meeting, Lanford, Gary Harvey, and Emmett Lifsey of Architectural Partners gave a presentation about the courthouse project. Lanford presented the board with the schedule of what to expect with the renovations of the Botetourt County Courthouse in Fincastle.
They showed a site plan for the project that featured the addition of a new parking lot and the relocation site of the Confederate monument, the interior and exterior plans of the new courthouse featuring a singular point of entry for the public, and cost estimates.
The courthouse renovation project’s cost estimate is currently over $22.4 million based on the current market. The county hired Forella, a professional cost-estimating firm, to help with the cost estimation. The projected cost is currently an engineering estimate. According to Lanford, the price is subject to change until the county bids the job and gets its numbers from contractors.
Residents of Fincastle living close to the project should expect to learn more about any road closures and inconveniences once the project gets closer to construction. Lanford clarified that the county would do its best to minimize inconveniences through communications.
“When we know there will be inconveniences,” Lanford added. “We’ll do our best to give everybody the advanced notice that’s needed to make sure the inconveniences are as convenient as they possibly can be.”
Lanford said he’s scheduled to make another public presentation on the project’s status at the August Board of Supervisors meeting.
For more information about the Botetourt County Courthouse and its ongoing project, visit https://www.botetourtva.gov/707/County-Courthouse.