Pocahontas County Courthouse Elevator Project Could Cost Upwards Of $ 750,000.00 Or More

Marlinton, WV – James Swiger of WYK Architectural Associates spoke to the Pocahontas County Commissioners Tuesday about a long desired upgrade to the county courthouse – an elevator. He says installing an elevator in the historic building will not be easy or cheap. A very rough estimate puts the cost starting around $ 750,000.00, and that doesn’t include architectural fees or unforeseen costs once the project gets started.

WYK’s proposal would place an elevator in one of the existing stair shafts at the courthouse. The upgrades would also include installing two bathrooms in the basement of the building that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ADA compliant ramps. Swiger says the proposal would also add some additional storage space in the basement.

Pocahontas County Assessor Dolan Irvine has already pledged $150,000.00 from his budget towards the project. The rest will come from the counties’ stabilization fund and other funding sources. The Commissioners approved a motion for WYK to continue working on the proposed elevator project.

Swiger also gave the Commissioners an update on the courthouse roof replacement and boiler projects.

He says the new boiler in the county jail building is 95% percent complete and should be ready to fire up on Monday.

The workers on the roof continue to find unwelcome surprises as that project continues. Swiger says they’ve found another area where the brick from a 1970’s project was not attached to the building properly. He says it will cost almost $3000.00 to bring this area up to code. The Commissioners approved the additional expenditure.

Swiger says they’ve also found a great deal of tar leftover from previous repair jobs. He says it would be cheaper to cover the tar rather than remove it. The Commissioners asked him to research options that will blend with the historic character of the building. They also approved an additional $3000.00 in contingency funding for any other unexpected surprises that may arise in the roof project.

In other business, the Commission approved a motion to advertise for architectural services related to the One Room University project. The project, as envisioned, will allow students to take college level classes without leaving Pocahontas County. Pocahontas County Coordinator Jay Miller says they have a tentative agreement with City National Bank in Marlinton to use the second floor of the bank to house the ORU. But he says as a pre-condition for lease negotiations, CNB requires conceptual drawings of how the space will be used for the initial demonstration project and for future growth of the project.

Initial funding for the architectural services will come from a re-purposing of Millers travel budget and a contribution from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. A request for bids will appear in the Pocahontas Times and Charleston Gazette. Miller says they hope to award the bid in early December.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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