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Jefferson County judicial annex plans change, likely delaying its opening

February 29, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Designers working on a proposed $13 million judicial annex behind the Jefferson County Courthouse downtown now have phased a community meeting room into the building's design, and officials said Thursday they could be ready to search for bids to build the facility by July.

Although county officials said last week that the annex could be open by late next year, they said Thursday it likely will be 2010 before it is opened.

County officials have talked for years about building a court facility to meet the county government's growing space needs, and there have been several proposals.

The Jefferson County Commission was presented last week with a plan for a 41,000-square-foot judicial annex to be built behind the Jefferson County Courthouse and former Jefferson County Jail, which also is being renovated for government office space.

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Commissioner Rusty Morgan said last week he would like to see the annex include a large meeting room for the community that has easy access.

Kirk E. Davis Sr., capital projects manager for the county, said he talked to family law court officials, and learned they did not need as much space as had been planned for them.

That allowed for the design of a community meeting room in the annex that would seat about 150 people, Davis said.

Davis and Tom Potts of Silling Architects & Planners also released a sketch of the annex Thursday. It showed arched windows, and Potts said the building was designed to blend in with the architectural "language" of the downtown area.

The commissioners talked about having a public hearing sometime in March to gather public comment about the building.

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