The Petersburg Circuit Courthouse has been shut down because of structural damage found in its clock tower.
Officials told ABC 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh that the courthouse just had a new roof installed in May and that the damage was not there then.
The Petersburg Circuit Courthosue sat empty on Friday, blocked off for safety concerns.
“The main aspect of this whole thing is to make certain that the building is secure and that everyone within the building is safe,” said Esther Hyatt, a spokesperson for the Petersburg Bureau of Police.
The concern came when a cracked column on the clock tower was noticed during a routine assessment on the roof. The Petersburg Circuit Court judge decided to close the court Thursday for safety reasons. A structural engineer has been hired to look at the issue and give the city an estimate for repairs.
“We should have that report within the next 48 hours,” Hyatt said.
In the meantime, if you are scheduled to be in the circuit court, there are some things you need to know.
“Everyone who is in a jury who is in a case on Monday, they will meet in Petersburg, a bus will take them to a court in Dinwiddie County, and then they will serve and then come back to Petersburg,” Hyatt said. “So, they won’t have any additional transportation issues; everything will be taken care of.”
Right now there is no estimate on how long court cases will be impacted, but the City of Petersburg says it will keep citizens informed.
“We will make certain that everyone impacted will know ahead of time and what they have to do for court issues,” Hyatt said.
This issue only affects the courtroom; the circuit court clerk’s office is still open. The City of Petersburg says regardless of how much it will cost to fix the tower, it has the money on hand and can start construction right away, because money can be pulled from the emergency fund.
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