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U.S. District Court closing its Parkersburg courtroom

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The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia is closing its Parkersburg courtroom, effective Friday, Nov. 22.

The building, owned by the General Services Administration, is in need of extensive repairs and alterations, Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers said. The court occupies one floor in the building, located at 425 Juliana St.

"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," Chambers  said in a release issued late Monday, Nov. 18.

The Parkersburg Division served Wirt and Wood counties. With the closing, Chambers said those counties will become part of the Charleston Division.  

While trials have occasionally been scheduled in the Parkersburg courtroom, Chambers said there hasn't been a full-time district judge, magistrate, bankruptcy or circuit judge in residence since 1992, nor does the building lend itself to modern-day trials employing computer technology.

The last full-day of business at the Parkersburg location will be Nov. 22. The deputy-in-charge of that office is retiring, a spokesman said. 

The building's primary tenant, the U.S. Post Office, also has served notice of its intent to vacate, effect August 2014, he said.