In the absence of an alternative use for the Washington County Courthouse in Abingdon, leaders should think about how to better utilize the building.

One idea would be to move the archival documents, deed books and other historical records into an alternative space, like the unoccupied county office building across the street that formerly held the treasurer’s office, and which the county already owns, to make room for more offices and courtrooms. Other services, like probation and the commonwealth’s attorney, could also migrate to the county office building.

Cost is cited as a reason to move to Kmart. The construction of a parking deck on North Court Street would be a lot cheaper than purchasing Kmart, repairing any structural issues, like reroofing it, and building out that space from scratch.

A vibrant downtown is the life blood of any community, and Abingdon should keep its courthouse on Main Street.

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(1) comment

Bud Burl

All the cost of attempting to make the court house on main habitable, and acceptable to state regulators, will be considered by the people of Washington County. They are the owners of the building. They will decide whether on not to move the courts. The Court house on main does not appear to have any real significant historical value except that it is old and it location allows lawyers to continue to walk to work. However, if truth and justice prevails and the voting citizens of the county decide to move the court to the old Kmart building, the lawyers will probably appeal. The Board of Supervisors conduct in this matter exemplifies the best of leadership in a democratic republic.

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