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Harrison, WV, Commission celebrates Charles Pointe groundbreaking, gets update on administrative annex

CLARKSBURG — The Harrison County Commission on Wednesday received an update on designs for a $21 million proposed county general services building and welcomed the announcement of groundwork at a new retail area within the Charles Pointe development.

Preliminary estimates for a proposed general services annex to be located near the Harrison County Courthouse place the cost at about $21.3 million.

That figure includes construction, design, furniture, fixtures and equipment, owner testing, surveying and geotech. It does not include the cost of the properties beneath the structure.

The building plans are not final, and the estimated cost is likely to change as details are completed.

The most recent design shows a 72,480-square foot building spread over three stories and a basement. The exterior would have “Italian Renaissance-style but with a modern touch,” according to Marie McCauley of Silling Architects.

The annex would house the County Commission, County Clerk’s Office, Assessor’s Office, Sheriff’s Tax Office, Planning and IT departments and the Community Corrections Day Report Center.

Commissioners asked the architectural firm to provide information on placing a natural gas generator on the roof of the new building rather than in the basement and creating a security screening area at the building’s entry, both of which would increase costs.

Commissioner David Hinkle suggested using measures in place for the new 911 Center generators, in which only some items are started, then others are manually turned on to the rest of the building to avoid a surge.

Using this method allowed officials to cut the size of the generator required for the 911 Center in half, he said.

“It’s something that we did that saved us a lot of money,” Hinkle said.

Also at the meeting, representatives of Genesis Partners officially announced the start of groundwork for the Charles Pointe Crossing retail area, which is the final component of the Charles Pointe development master plan.

“Our contractor is ready to start. He’s mobilizing immediately, so you’ll see activity out there right away,” said Robert Stuart, director of planning and engineering for Genesis Partners.

In addition to retail, the development is expected to have restaurants and other hospitality-associated businesses, he said.

A Menards home improvement store will serve as the new development’s anchor retailer, he said.

Groundwork for the development is expected to conclude in 2020. Menards construction is expected to begin in 2020, with the store opening in 2021.

Currently, the nearest Menards store locations are in Ohio, according to the store’s website.

The Charles Pointe Crossing development area encompasses approximately 112 acres, about 70 of which will be available for use once site development is complete, according to Stuart.

That will allow for around 650,000 square feet of business space.

Menards will take up approximately 200,000 square feet. The remaining 450,000 square feet are now being marketed, he said.

Stuart said there has been national interest and he expects “a lot of new players to the region.”

In other business, commissioners:

— Approved receipt of funds from two grant awards that will be used to purchase five mobile license plate readers and 18 portable radios for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.

— Tabled a request from the Sheriff’s Department to purchase three used vehicles to replace wrecked and aged-out vehicles. The request was tabled until more research can be done on possible alternatives.

— Approved all staff travel requests.

Manual Jackson of Harrison County Community Corrections requested retroactive approval of his travel to the West Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Professional Development Conference in Morgantown to help satisfy his required continuing education credits. There was no cost to the county listed on the travel request form.

Darci Hogue, Julia Pierce, Courtney Swenskie and Trevor Vance of Harrison-Taylor 911 requested to travel to Wood County for a single-day class on 911 active-shooter response, at a total cost of $916 for course registration. A county vehicle will be used for transportation, according to the request forms.

Jesua DeProspero, Justin Norman and Michelle Payton requested to travel to Wheeling for the West Virginia APCO 911 Symposium Oct. 4-6, at a total cost of $2,016, including lodging, registration and meals, according to request forms.

— Approved a $2,000 funding request from Treasured Memories Club for the Pine Bluff Fall Festival, to be held Oct. 4-5 at the Pine Bluff Community Building.

— Granted Assistant County Administrator Jessica Sell authority to sign documents.

— Allowed My Brother’s Keeper and the Progressive Women’s Association use of the Harrison County Courthouse Plaza from 6-9 pm. Sept. 27 for a candlelight vigil.

According to My Brother’s Keeper President Darl Hardy, the vigil will be for those who have passed away from substance use disorder and those in active addiction. It will be the first time for the event.

— Voted 2-to-1 to adjust the hire date for telecommunicators to correct errors. Hinkle voted against the measure, stating he considered the agenda item to be informational.