The Times West Virginian


October 4, 2012

Demolition major step being taken to bring brighter future to Fairmont

In the present, visitors to Downtown Fairmont see a major demolition project.

In the near future, though, construction will be under way on the 400 block of Adams Street. If all goes according to plan, in less than two years that block will be revitalized with the completion of a new state office building.

We understand that the demolition brings mixed emotions to longtime residents of Fairmont and Marion County.

One of the buildings coming down housed the Fairmont Theater. Since 1946, the theater, built by Warner Brothers Theatres Inc., served as a place of entertainment for residents. In addition to showing movies, the theater also played host to several country music artists including Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, George Jones and Dolly Parton. The theater, though, closed in 2007, and the building, like many others on the block, became dilapidated.

We can appreciate history, but it’s now time to look forward.

The ongoing demolition, which is scheduled to be completed next month, puts Fairmont on that path.

“What it symbolizes now is change,” county administrator Kris Cinalli said.

Fairmont City Manager Jay Rogers said that simply getting rid of the blighted buildings is an improvement.

“For many years it did pose an eyesore,” he said. “It’s like the homeowner who wants to put a new coat of paint on the house; it just looks better. But, it obviously got to the point where a coat of paint wasn’t going to cut it.”

The need for a new state building surfaced in February of 2009, when the state Department of Administration made the decision to close the old West Virginia State Office Complex on the 100 block of Adams Street due to structural issues. Marion County acquired the east side of the 400 block of Adams Street, and Fairmont’s Reclaim Inc. won the bid to tear the buildings down.

The new state building, designed by Omni Associates, a Fairmont architecture firm, will encompass 80,000 square feet, spread over four floors, said Diane Holley Brown, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration.

Among the agencies scheduled to move into this building include the Department of Health and Human Resources, WorkForce West Virginia, the state Tax Department, the state Insurance Commission, Rehabilitative Services and the Secretary of State’s office.

Rogers said that modernizing the new building will mean better accessibility. With the parking infrastructure directly across the street and easy road access from the Gateway Connector, the new building will be able to serve the community well.

Construction of the new state building is dependent on weather, but the goal is for it to be open by April 2014.

City and county officials are optimistic that a new state building and its associated workforce will provide an economic lift to Fairmont.

“The jobs coming back downtown will provide a big boost to the downtown businesses,” Cinalli said. “That’s what we’re hoping for — more traffic, more people coming downtown for business, and for more businesses to pop up in order to serve those people.”

That’s why we consider the demolition taking place now as a symbol of a better Fairmont in the not-too-distant future.

Text Only
  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

  • TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving

    Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
    That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

    April 3, 2014

  • Award-winning county teachers represent hard work, sacrifice

    Each year, the Arch Coal Foundation recognizes outstanding West Virginia teachers with its annual Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.
    And this year, two Marion County teachers were among the 12 recipients.

    April 2, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads