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Roanoke federal courts closed for brick fix

Federal trial courts in Roanoke have been displaced from the Poff Federal Building because of loose bricks on one side of the 14-story building.

The building and all agencies within will be closed Monday and Tuesday due to construction, according to a notice on the courts’ website. Closure is possible on Wednesday, Nov. 21, as well.

The Poff building houses the U.S. District Court and U.S. Magistrate Court for the Roanoke Division of the Western District, as well as the clerk’s office. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Roanoke is located in a separate building.

Court staffers improvised. Judge Samuel Wilson moved his hearings to the bankruptcy court while Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou held court in Lynchburg, court officials said.

Court clerk Julia Dudley said the court’s electronic filing system remains up and running, unaffected by the temporary office closure.

The closing of the Poff building came on short notice amid long term building repairs, reports The Roanoke Times. The paper says the brick façade on the west side of the building was noticeably bulging away from the wall, with a large crack running for several stories.

Dudley said it was determined the wall of bricks needs to come down. If the work can be completed in time, the court facilities should reopen on Wednesday. She said the closing information on the court’s website will be updated.

UPDATE: The Roanoke federal courts remained closed on Wednesday, according to a notice on the court’s website.

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