Botetourt County officials give update on new courthouse

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 5:59 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FINCASTLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Botetourt County officials are moving forward with plans to rebuild and revamp the town’s iconic courthouse.

The Botetourt County Courthouse is special to the community.

“The courthouse is the lifeblood of the town,” said Fincastle Mayor Mary Bess Smith.

Smith says it’s time for a renovation.

“The need is there. The current building is not ADA-compatible. It’s not secure,” added Smith.

Around 20 community members attended a meeting Saturday to hear updates about the project. Assistant County Administrator Jonathan Lanford says this is the 5th courthouse built in the town.

“There was a fire here in Fincastle in the ‘70-’71 timeframe. Burned the courthouse to the ground. The courthouse that stands today was a replacement structure that opened in 1975,” said Lanford.

Lanford says they estimate the project to cost between $35 and $40 million.

“Tear down the courthouse that stands today and replace it on the same site,” explained Lanford, “That matches as close as possible the architecture of the current facility.”

Residents asked questions, such as whether the Confederate and World War II statues will stay.

“There is going to be a monument garden as part of this project,” added Lanford. “And the Louis and Clark disk that marks the beginning point of their expedition will remain.”

During construction, the historical society dug up shoes, teeth and pottery from the past.

“We’re planning to do some educational component,” said Fincastle Historical Society Executive Director Lynsey Allie. “With cleaning the artifacts and having them on display. And they will be kept in the permanent display at the historical society.”

The new courthouse will have two courtrooms. It will be ADA-compliant and have parking and security.

“And we really hope that it will start a revitalization and kind of refocus people on what we have in town,” said Smith.

Officials say the project is expected to be completed by 2025. Click here to learn more about the project.