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Loudoun board decides to keep courts in downtown Leesburg

By Jim Barnes,

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to proceed with plans to expand the court complex in Leesburg’s downtown historic district, rather than move some or all of the courts outside the town limits.

The board had considered several options for expanding the court facilities to meet increasing caseloads and other needs resulting from Loudoun’s rapid population growth, including the construction of court facilities on county-owned property off Sycolin Road outside Leesburg.

But representatives of Loudoun’s judicial, legal and law enforcement communities agreed that all the courts should be kept together. The Leesburg Town Council strongly urged the board to keep the courts downtown.

Despite a sometimes contentious exchange between some members of the Board of Supervisors and the Town Council, the issue was resolved quietly when the board voted, without discussion, to expand the court complex downtown.

Loudoun began the decades-long process of expanding the facilities in downtown Leesburg in 1997, to address increased caseloads and space needs.

The first phase of the project included the construction of a court building and renovation of the former county administration building. In the second phase, from 2002 to 2004, two older court buildings on Market Street were renovated to serve as the main entrance to the court complex. The first two phases of the project cost about $32 million.

Supervisors also approved a motion to direct county staff members to begin soliciting architectural and engineering services for the downtown expansion project.

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