PARKERSBURG — A construction company in Marietta was awarded a contract on Monday to renovate the old Suddenlink building as the new Wood County 911 Center by the Wood County Commission.
The commissioners unanimously awarded the contract to Grae-Con Construction who offered $3.189 million for the project.
“They are used to hiring local workers,” Commissioner Jimmy Colombo said of Grae-Con.
The commission chose ZMM Architects & Engineers of Charleston to design and oversee the renovation of the 18,000 square foot facility at US 50 and Interstate 77. The commission purchased the building in 2020 for $850,000 with plans to adapt it for use as a new 911 center.
Last month, the commission opened five bids from firms and handed the bids over to architect Adam Krason of ZMM to review and make recommendations. At the time, Krason said ZMM had worked successfully with all companies, including Grae-Con.
Officials said they plan to create a solid, block-like structure inside which Sheriff Rick Woodyard described as a “building within a building”. This will help fortify the building and make it safer. They will also work to reinforce the roof and the offices inside.
The bids included a base price for the construction works as well as alternative bids for the parking works and the replacement of the chain-link fence around the site which could be done separately depending on available funds. Prices for bulletproof sheets and other materials have also been included, along with licensing and bonding information. The bids also included estimates of the duration of the works.
Grae-Con included alternative offers of $160,000 for paving and $65,000 for fencing. They estimated that it would take 395 days to complete the construction work.
In other cases, the commission honored Edison Middle High alumnus and soon-to-be Parkersburg South High School freshman Landon Henthorn for an essay he wrote for a competition at the statewide hosted by the Association of West Virginia County Commissioners on the importance of the county commission.
Henthorn earned an honorable mention and received a check for $50.
There were more than 60 entries from 11 counties, said Denise Allen, the Association’s executive assistant. There were two first-place finishes, two second-place finishes, two third-place finishes and 10 honorable mentions, she said.
Allen hopes the students will learn the importance of the commissions and inspire them to one day run for office.
In complementary business:
∫ Stewards announced that the new Visitor Center at the former Point Park Market Place welcomed over 200 visitors over the past weekend. Attendance at the center during the month of May exceeded the total attendance at the old center the previous year.
CVB officials said they were able to direct people to the Oil and Gas Museum, Henderson Hall and other local attractions, restaurants, shops, hotels and more, either during their current trip, an overnight stay, or to convince them to return at a later date.
Commission President Blair Couch showed “Staycation” advertisements that were made highlighting local attractions for locals to visit at a time when gas is expensive and people are considering taking shorter day trips.