Courthouse and Jail Concpet

The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors are expected to hear a presentation during work session Tuesday, Feb. 19 for a proposed $96 million courthouse and jail facilities concept. 

The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors are expected to hear a presentation during work session Tuesday, Feb. 19 for a proposed $96 million courthouse and jail facilities concept. 

Moseley Architects completed the concept, which has been in the design phase since November 2017 according to documents obtained from county administrator David Smitherman. 

“If this plan isn’t approved soon, the costs could be detrimental. The longer we wait, the more the costs go up. We have to have the ability to pay for the debt, and I don’t see that for at least five years,” Smitherman said. 

Looking at the estimated budget, Smitherman pointed out that the plan if left untouched until 2029 could come at a cost of $116 million.

“We have the opportunity to get at least 25-percent through the Commonwealth. That money has to be approved by the General Assembly,” Smitherman said.

After receiving those funds, Smitherman said the rest would have to come from the general fund. 

“We have no funding plan at this time, but we are in the conceptual planning period right now. I can see in five years us in the bond market to build a jail,” Smitherman said.

According to the design map, the current Pittsylvania County Schools central office and former planetarium building, county maintenance building, 911 center, inspections office, and jail could be demolished to create the new space.

The building concept faces Bank Street and is surrounded by parking. 

The current parking lot between Virginia Bank & Trust and Chatham Cleaners would be eliminated to create green space.  

Still standing in the concept is the historic courthouse, which houses the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court and clerks office at the corner of Main Street and Bank Street. 

The 1968 annex and 1991 Edwin R. Shields Courthouse addition would be repurposed for other needs. 

The Moses Building, which currently houses the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, would also remain. 

According to the concept, the Pittsylvania County Jail was built in 1981 with a rated capacity of 36 inmates. 

In January 2018, the Pittsylvania County Jail was responsible for 160 inmates, 110 in the county facility and 50 in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail and Western Virginia Regional Jail. 

While the county jail’s capacity is well above capacity, it has not increased over the past 7 years. 

The conceptual jail could hold 190 beds, and would be construction on the eastern side of the courthouse. 

The supervisor’s work session is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the main conference room of the County Administration Building, 1 Center Street, Chatham. 

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