A ribbon-cutting this morning formally opened its new culinary arts academy.
In addition to training the "chefs of the future" WVU-P officials hope it will eventually lead to the school expanding even more in dowtown Parkersburg.
"As we complete our projects, which hopefully will include a conferencing center, a small business incubator, entrepreneurship center," said college president Dr. Marie Foster-Gnage, "I think we can say that it's truly a contributor to economic development."
By spring, students will be ready to "get cooking" in downtown Parkersburg.
A ribbon cutting is set for January 23, for the new Downtown Center of West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
The first school operating out of that market street building, will be WVU-P's School of Culinary Arts.
It will be offering a two-year associate and one-year certificate program, working with the school's diversified agriculture program.
"We have a tremendous amount of support from the local restaurants, the country clubs," says Culinary Director Gene Evans. "They're excited for us coming downtown, and we're excited to be there. I think it's a great facility, and we got a sneak peak at it, and we're just looking forward to doing to ribbon-cutting and getting going from there."
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell told city council Tuesday that the former W.T. Grant building may be the first of several vacant downtown buildings to have new tenants.
The school hopes to have a dozen students enrolled for its first semester, which begins March 11th.