It's hard to miss as you drive down Market Street, construction on what will soon be the downtown extension of West Virginia University at Parkersburg is underway and moving along swiftly.
"Stage one, our fist step here, was replacing the facade on the front of the building. We were about 75% complete with that," says Director of Facilities for WVU-P, David White. "Another phase that we have practically completed is new electrical services into the building with six brass panels and that is just about complete. The phase after that will be a new elevator inside to go from the basement to the first and second floor. We also have out a contract to put a new roof on the entire building."
A recent discovery of asbestos has thrown a bit of a curve ball into the construction plans. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer and mesothelioma. White says they've wasted no time in seeing that the asbestos is removed and work can get back on schedule.
"We are working with Pickering Associates, they're putting together specs for the job. The job will go out for bid at the end of this week. There will be about a 10 day bid period,"White adds. "In the mean time, we have brought in an outside contractor to do samples of the areas of concern and we have identified those areas and what will be abated."
White says although this will cause a delay, he expects all lost time to be made up.
"It's a slight set back. I would say somewhere between 60 and 75 days. But by mid-summer we should be back on track."
Back on track and bringing a new community to downtown Parkersburg.
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