CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As a cost-saving measure, the federal government has opted to close a federal building in Parkersburg that houses the U.S. District Court and post office.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia made the announcement Monday afternoon after being informed that the General Services Administration (GSA) made it known the building would close.
The administration performed a closure study for the building, located at 425 Juliana St., and found that it was in need of extensive repairs and alterations but that it is mostly vacant with no serious potential for new tenants, according to a statement from the court.
The administration said the building's primary tenant, the U.S. Postal Service, signed a letter of intent to vacate the building effective August 2014.
There hasn't been a full-time judge at the building since U.S. District Judge Charles Haden moved his office to Charleston in 1992. The criminal and civil caseloads at Parkersburg continued to decline and the courtroom at the facility was deemed a "functionally difficult courtroom" for trials that rely on computer technology.
The only district court employee at the building also recently announced her retirement.
"The Court regrets the loss of its courtroom at Parkersburg, but it cannot justify the expense of approximately $1 million to $1.5 million to taxpayers for build out costs of similar space in another location," the release said.
"Cost-saving measures, such as the relinquishment of underused courthouse space, are necessary, according to Chief Judge John G. Roberts's annual report on behalf of the federal Judiciary."
The Parkersburg division serves Wirt and Wood counties, both of which will become part of Charleston's service area when the building closes. The last day for full business operations to the public in Parkersburg is Friday.
Effective Nov. 25, all concerns related to the Parkersburg docket should be directed to Teresa L. Deppner, Clerk, United States District Court, 2400 Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse, 300 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301. The clerk also may be reached by telephone at 304-347-3000.