Albemarle report provides updates on Courts Complex, Library Avenue extension, and more

Every quarter, Albemarle County gives an update on the status of infrastructure projects in a report from the Facilities and Environmental Services Department. The report included in this Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors’ packet has new information on the courts complex and more. (view the report)

According to the report, demolition of an annex building for the Levy Opera House began over the summer to make way for the new joint General District Court for both Albemarle and Charlottesville. 

“Select interior demolition of the historic Levy Opera House has also been completed and renovation work to upgrade this facility to house the County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office is underway,” reads the first page of the report. 

The courts project has been split into two phases with completion of the first expected in early 2025. The second phase will include renovations to the existing historic courthouse and design and drawings for that should be completed in December of this year. You can stay up to date on the project at a dedicated website

There’s an update on plans to build new infrastructure in Downtown Crozet to support redevelopment of the privately owned space once known as the Barnes Lumberyard. The Downtown Crozet Initiative is a public-private partnership seeking to build a plaza. 

A transportation improvement project will extend Library Avenue by 0.4 miles through the property to connect with High Street and then Hill Street in Parkside Village. The fully funded project is in the right of way acquisition phase according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s six-year improvement program. 

In September, county staff held a meeting to provide information on upcoming construction work expected to get underway next spring. 

“During a two-hour long question and answer session County Staff and the County’s Engineering Consultant discussed all aspects of The Square project and possible construction impacts,” reads page 6 of the report. 

An aerial overview of the plans for the extension of Library Avenue

Albemarle County has also begun vegetation maintenance on some county streets that would otherwise be handled by VDOT. 

“Some of the affected areas included: Avon Street, Commonwealth Drive, Crozet Avenue, Garth Road, Pantops area, Rio Road, Stoney Point Road and John W Warner Parkway,” reads page 8 of the report. “We will be adding some of the areas to our regular contracted vegetation management routes – improving tidiness, enhancing driver and pedestrian safety, and keeping stormwater drains flowing.” 

The FES report also has news of Sweeping Beauty, the county’s first streetsweeper. Over 1,200 participated in a naming contest for the vehicle which is active from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday at a cruising speed of between 3 mph and 7 mph. 

“During the first three weeks of use, Sweeping Beauty scrubbed over 115 lane miles of roadway and removed over 24 tons of dirt, trash, and other pollutants from the road,” the report continues. 

The report also has things I’ve already reported on:

There are also status reports of several projects totaling $70,152,755 beginning on page 11. Here are some highlights:

  • An upgrade of the voter registration at the county’s office building on 5th Street Extended is complete at a project cost of $93,300.
  • A project to build a trailhead park on 5th Street Extended is currently on hold. 
  • Design of new grass athletic fields at Biscuit Run Park has begun. In all there would be two fields with the opportunity to expand for a total of 5. 
  • A project to build a vehicular entrance and parking at Biscuit Run Park is listed as being 50 percent complete. The anticipated completion date is now September 20, 2024 and the project is expected to go to bid this month. 
  • Construction of the $3.1 million public safety operations logistics center at Fashion Square Mall is 55 percent complete. The county is renting a portion of the former J.C. Penney and the work is expected to be complete by October 31. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the October 16, 2023 edition.

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