Wood County to seek demolition bids

PARKERSBURG – Wood County commissioners have decided to seek bids for demolition of the former Holding Center.

“It’s served its purpose,” said commission President Wayne Dunn. “We’ve tried to get a return on it, but, in its present state, the possibilities for its use are low. We need to start thinking of tearing it down, that’s probably the best option right now, to see what the costs for demolition would be.”

County officials said, according to utility bills, the Second Street facility is costing the county approximately $8,000 yearly to maintain plus the cost of the insurance for the property.

“We’ve attempted, on several occasions, to sell the property either to the state or federal corrections systems for use as some type of regional or other facility and we’ve been rebuffed. If we sell it, it would have to be done at auction. We could demo it and put in parking, either metered, employee, long-term,” Commissioner Blair Couch said. “Or we could sell the property and let someone else demo it.”

Commissioner Steve Gainer suggested having the property appraised, noting other downtown property owners have expressed an interest in it.

Dunn and Gainer both said they want to “keep the property.”

The commissioners unanimously voted to get demolition bids for the building.

County Engineer Bill Brown and County Administrator Marty Seufer are to walk through the building. County officials said they hope to have bid specifications ready for the commission’s review on Monday.

A smaller version of the Holding Center was constructed in the Wood County Justice Center and all personnel with the Holding Center and Home Confinement Program were moved from the Second Street location when the Justice Center opened early 2012.

Prior to being a Holding Center the building served as the county jail from the time it was constructed in the 1970s until 2001 when the regional jail authority was formed and all inmates serving sentences were transferred to the North Central Regional Jail at Greenwood, Doddridge County.

The former Wood County Jail then became a holding center.