The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Council to discuss Renwick court building
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
The future of the current historic Fredericksburg Circuit Court building will be discussed Tuesday in a work session before the regular Fredericksburg City Council meeting.
Council members have repeatedly expressed concerns over what will happen to the Renwick building once the Circuit Court moves to the new building, which will be at the corner of Princess Anne and Charlotte streets.
Council members have often been at odds about the city’s commitment to fund improvements or renovations to the 160-year-old building.
City Attorney Kathleen Dooley wrote a resolution that would formalize the council’s commitment to that project, and the council approved it in a special meeting on Sept. 18.
City Manager Beverly Cameron said in an interview that this work session is probably just the first step toward making a decision and it will be the council’s first opportunity to discuss the plans in any detail.
“We’re going to be working with them through what I call a decision model to just sort of try to figure out what their objectives are for renovation and what the best alternatives might be,” he said.
They will discuss the plans proposed by the design–build team. It is proposing to convert the second-floor courtroom into council chambers and the first floor for office space for the city manager, city attorney, mayor and clerk of council. It would cost about $5.4 million, according to the proposal.
That’s just one option, though, and the discussion will be “general,” Cameron said. The work session will be at 5:30 p.m., in a second-floor conference room.
Renovations cannot be done until the Circuit Court and clerk move into the new building in the spring of 2014.
Construction would not take place until fiscal 2015 at the earliest.
The courthouse was designed by James Renwick Jr. in 1852.
Renwick is known for designing several major buildings, such as the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C., and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413