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Morgantown City Hall project ramping up, kayak facility work winding down

MORGANTOWN — Morgantown Communications Director Andrew Stacy said asbestos removal and electrical work is underway ahead of the upcoming renovation of Morgantown City Hall.

“Design work is nearing completion. We are a couple weeks out from putting it out to bid. We anticipate the bid to go out by the end of the month,” Stacy explained.

The project, previously calculated at just under $3 million, is the first and largest of several facility improvements funded through the issuance of construction bonds.

Stacy said the final cost estimate is still being worked out, but the city anticipates that number to climb, primarily due to inflation.

He went on to say work on the building’s elevator will be addressed as a separate project in an effort to reduce costs.

The renovations are expected to take as long as a year and will address nearly every aspect of the building, which was originally constructed in 1926 as a fire station.

“The major construction items at City Hall include replacement of windows, parapet repairs, removal of radiator heating, installation of HVAC, and the reconfiguration of office and corridor space,” Stacy said.

“The reconfiguration on the first floor will primarily be to maximize office space. There will also be electrical and security upgrades, and cosmetic repairs such as replacement of flooring, painting, and restoring the historic windows and doors in front of City Hall to replicate the original design.”

The issuance of up to $7 million in construction bonds was part of an arrangement between the city and the Morgantown Building Commission. The bonds were placed with Community Bank, which offered a fixed 2.61% interest rate and a 15-year repayment term.

Other aging facilities on the docket for improvements include the Morgantown Public Safety Building, the city’s public works garage and the Norwood fire station.

While the city hall project is ramping up, the construction of the city’s new kayak rental facility is winding down.

City Manager Kim Haws recently reported the work is 95% complete.

Supply chain issues have delayed installation of the building’s permanent pull-down doors. Stacy said temporary doors have been installed for the time being.

Morgantown City Council approved a $321,025 contract with March-Westin for the project in February.

According to Stacy, Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli is in the process of contracting with a vendor to operate the Walnut Street Landing facility.

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