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Changes approved for Woodburn Commission, city launching leadership program

MORGANTOWN — The building has been repaired and renovated.

The property has been rebranded.

And now the former Woodburn school-turned Woodburn Community Complex has a reconfigured leadership team.

During its last regular session, Morgantown City Council approved changes to Article 162 of city code, reducing the number of seats on the Woodburn Commission from seven to five, while adding representatives of the building’s tenants as non-voting ex-officio members.

Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble serves as council’s representative to the commission.

“This was brought forward as a request of the remaining members of the Woodburn Commission. That commission historically has a difficult time filling the open spots on the board,” Trumble said, adding the body serves strictly in an advisory capacity as advocates for the property. 

Trumble also noted the two seats being eliminated are unfilled.

Current tenants of the property include longtime inhabitants PopShop, Friends of Deckers Creek and M.T. Pockets Theatre Company. Mountaineer Homeschool Hub and Free Bikes 4 Kidz have come aboard more recently and Venerable Bean Bakery has an agreement with the city to use the former school’s kitchen.   

“We would like to give them the opportunity to participate in discussion and any kind of decision-making,” Trumble said. 

The 100-plus-year-old building was closed as an elementary school in 2010. In 2013, the city of Morgantown purchased the structure and four-acre property in the heart of Woodburn for $490,000.

In other Morgantown news, City Manager Kim Haws said the city has reached an agreement with WVU to create a leadership development program for city employees.

He said the program will consist of one session per quarter for the next two years, starting in mid-February.

“It will be done in cooperation with WVU. They’ve identified some excellent speakers and presenters that will come in and provide three- or four-hour sessions for us,” Haws said, explaining the lessons will include assignments and homework.

“The intent is to provide opportunities for our staff to be able to generate and develop the skills necessary to move upward and improve themselves,” he said.

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