The Board of Supervisors’ finance committee on Tuesday recommended approval of a $12.7 million contract to build a four-level parking garage at the Pennington Lot in Leesburg.
The Leesburg Town Council, despite approving the county’s parking garage plans in February as part of the larger courthouse complex expansion project, has expressed reservations about the scale of the parking garage. Residents in the neighborhood also have objected to the plan, urging the town and county to find alternatives. The council has asked supervisors to cut the parking garage down to three levels, and has tried unsuccessfully to find other parking around town to substitute.
“I have always said that this entire discussion about the courthouse has been, in some ways, a conflict between the present and the future,” said finance committee Chairman Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “There have been some—what I would characterize more as short term concerns versus bigger picture, and the bigger picture is the needs of the county going forward.”
Board Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) agreed that a three-story garage would start off the courthouse expansion short on parking, and that county employees and visitors already face a parking crunch in downtown Leesburg.
The new garage will be next to the current Pennington Lot, accessible through either the Pennington Lot or from North Street. After utility and contingency costs, the county estimates the garage will cost $14 million. It will create 717 parking spaces.
Six bids were received for the garage project. Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc. provided the low bid at $12,684,580. The high bid, by Harkins Builders, was $14,399,000.
The overall expansion project includes the parking garage, a new 92,000-square-foot General District Court building, and renovations of 40,000 square feet of the current courts complex. It is expected to cost about $87 million and to be complete by 2020.