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Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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New courts cost estimate: $35 to 40 million

That’s more than $15 million lower than the price tag council members were looking at for courts this time last year.

You can read more in tomorrow’s paper about the options council members saw tonight for putting courts on the juvenile and domestic relations court and fire station sits on Princess Anne Street.

One point the architects made tonight, though, was how important they thought it was that the city had chosen to keep the courts downtown. A few years ago, they looked at a proposal to move them out to Lafayette Boulevard near the Blue and Gray Parkway.

"I think you have shown some wisdom in just trying to keep the courthouse downtown," said Randy Holmes of the firm Glave and Holmes, part of the team the city hired to look at court options.

Another member of that team said, during a discussion about making the new building energy efficient, that keeping the courts downtown was "the most sustainable decision you could make" in the entire process.

The picture above is of the process to repaint the windows on the historic Circuit Courthouse. It’s not clear what the fate of this building will be yet, but it will be preserved in some fashion. City Manager Beverly Cameron has said it could work well as a ceremonial courtroom for swearings-in, appeals court meetings, civil trials and other occasional purposes. 

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