Workers with Blair Construction were busy at several sections of the historic courthouse renovation project in Halifax on Thursday morning, with a number of workers laboring at the back of the project on the footing for the commonwealth’s attorney’s addition.
In front, demolition of the original Main Street retaining wall has been completed, and rebar for the foundation for the new wall is currently being installed, with construction of footings at the new wall due to start in the next 30 days, according to Scott Simpson, county administrator.
When they meet Tuesday night for their regular September meeting, supervisors are expected to learn the final price tag for the courthouse including the new commonwealth’s attorney’s office will amount to almost $29.9 million.
Costs for the courthouse project have increased significantly since the county first adopted a reimbursement resolution dated June 24, 2013, then estimated at about $15 million.
Given revisions to the project, including costs associated with the demolition and reconstruction of an adjoining commonwealth’s attorney’s building, the county plans to increase the amount available for the reimbursement of expenditures to an amount not to exceed $29,883,213.59.
The $29.8 million includes the $15 million in the June 2013 reimbursement resolution and the $6.6 million in expenses for the project previously reimbursed to the county from the proceeds of the first borrowing.
Due to begin in the next 30 days are continuing construction of concrete walls, digging and pouring of foundations, forming and pouring elevator pits and bracing the south concrete foundation wall at the portico area.
Work is scheduled to begin inside the historic courtroom building, with demolition of the wainscot at the 1834 building courtroom, demolition of the lobby and wall on the second floor of the 1834 building, and installation of flooring in the 1834 courtroom and hallway also is set to begin, Simpson added.
Supervisors are scheduled to consider a reimbursement resolution and lease financing resolution regarding paying for the $29.88 million courthouse renovation project at Tuesday’s meeting.
“As the courthouse project began, the county borrowed a portion of the estimated funding in 2016 with the knowledge that an additional borrowing would be necessary as the projects costs were finalized,” Simpson said.
The supervisors’ finance committee has recommended one of three options provided by Davenport and Company for financing debt service on courthouse renovation and commonwealth’s attorney’s building construction.
Davenport Public Finance is scheduled to present information detailing the proposed financing in order to the complete the project
Davenport, in concurrence with the finance committee, recommends that the county work through VRA’s 2019 fall pool financing in order to utilize the approximate $2.4 million in courthouse reserve balance funds to reduce the borrowing amount necessary to lock in the $12.5 million remaining balance of funding required to bring the project to completion.
Under the recommended scenario, bond proceeds for completion of project costs would amount to $10,078,571, with a net borrowing amount of $9,310,000.
Borrowing would occur over 20 years at an interest rate of 2.91%, under the option recommended by the finance committee.
Plans to renovate the historic courthouse have undergone a number of changes since the fall of 2016, when the county locked in a portion — $16.7 million — of the funding required for the courthouse project.
The county obtained the initial financing through the Virginia Resources Authority’s (VRA) Virginia Pooled Financing Program at a fixed interest rate of 3.06% over 20 years.