Botetourt County has announced plans to move many of its administrative offices to the Greenfield Education and Training Center in Daleville. Currently, most administrative offices are located throughout numerous buildings in the Town of Fincastle.
Many of the County’s current office buildings in Fincastle have reached their functional lifespan, requiring extensive remodeling and reconstruction. They are not well suited for modern operations. Many are only partially handicapped accessible. The Circuit Courthouse building, in particular, is in need of renovations to address a variety of structural, environmental, accessibility, and security concerns.
A 2018 professional engineering assessment of the Courthouse found that the building has reached the end of its useful life. All of the building’s mechanical systems need to be replaced. Handicapped accessibility is limited and security features are inadequate. Moisture is a problem due to water leaking through the foundation and from roofs and the inability of mechanical systems to properly condition air and control humidity.
County facilities and administrative staff have been evaluating office space alternatives including the feasibility of renting more buildings within the Town of Fincastle, constructing more space within the town, leasing or purchasing office space in other areas of the County, and building new office space elsewhere in the County.
Using the Greenfield Education and Training Center was identified as an option in light of that building becoming available at the conclusion of a 20-year lease to the Virginia Community College System at the end of May 2020. The 40,000 square-foot facility was designed for use as a regional higher education and workforce training center operated and managed by Virginia Western Community College. The College has largely vacated the building except for workforce training programs held primarily in the building’s heavy equipment lab space.
As a result of talks between College and County officials, the parties have agreed to negotiate a new lease after May 2020 under which Virginia Western will continue to occupy and use part of the Center for regional workforce training programming while the County will occupy and use most of the Center to house its administrative offices and operations.
“Based on current plans, about 50 employees will relocate from the Town of Fincastle to Greenfield in phases starting as early as May,” said County Administrator Gary Larrowe. He added that about 180 employees will remain in the Town and that the Town will remain the County Seat.
“Facility concerns create the urgency to relocate some county offices,” said Fincastle District
Supervisor Dr. Richard Bailey. “This is an opportunity to renew our work spaces, consolidate County offices, and improve public access while minimizing cost. Fincastle will continue to be the County seat with the majority of employees remaining there in the future.”
Among offices that will remain in the town are the courts, Sheriff’s offices, Commonwealth Attorney, voter registration, Clerk of the Court, and Fire-EMS.
Relocating offices to Greenfield Center avoids the need to purchase or construct office space. The Greenfield Center is owned by the County’s Economic Development Authority, members of which have indicated support for the shared County-Virginia Western use of the building.
”This plan provides a great solution for the County’s office space needs at much less cost than other options,” Board Chairman Billy Martin said. “It also provides better access for our citizens and will allow various offices of the County and our employees to work better together resulting in improved services for the public.”
There are many advantages to this space, Larrowe said, including:
- Providing employees with an existing, turnkey, modern, high-quality, safe work place without having to build or extensively renovate new space.
- An opportunity to consolidate current office space into one location to improve the coordination of County staff. In addition to the courthouse, County employees are currently scattered throughout fifteen buildings in Fincastle.
- The building can accommodate this move in phases with the ability to reallocate existing space as needed.
- The court system can expand and renovate its space as needed in Fincastle.
Bailey and Larrowe said this decision was made with the County’s partners in mind.
“Moving from rented space and consolidating offices into fewer buildings will open up new opportunities for investment and business development. We see the Town as a partner in all of this,” said Bailey.
Larrowe added: “In addition, Virginia Western Community College remains an important partner in this decision. This solution preserves the space the College needs for its programs while maximizing an investment that has benefited the State, the County, and the region for the past 20 years.”
The County Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue, County Administration, Community
Development, and other administrative offices will be consolidated in Greenfield. The Greenfield Center offers visitors convenient parking and provides more accessibility both for vehicles and handicapped residents.
By the Numbers
49: The number of years since the last significant renovations in the Circuit Courthouse – when it was rebuilt following a fire.
1848: The original Botetourt County Courthouse, designed from a Thomas Jefferson plan, was built.
1970: Year the courthouse (except a vault storing historic records) was destroyed by fire.
40,000: Square feet of space at the Greenfield Education and Training Center.
85: Seats in lecture hall.
6: Current number of tenants in Botetourt Center at Greenfield.
15: Current County-operated office buildings in Fincastle
50: The approximate number of employees relocating to Greenfield.
180: The approximate number of employees remaining in Fincastle.