By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
College students are developing creative plans for how to bring the Masonic Temple building in downtown Fairmont back to life.
The City of Fairmont’s Urban Renewal Authority and Fairmont State University have come together to host a design competition focused on the redevelopment of the historic Masonic Temple and the area surrounding it. Nine students in a senior-level architecture class at FSU are competing for a $1,000 first-place award, a $500 second-place award and a $250 community choice award.
Fairmont City Planner Kathy Wyrosdick explained that two FOCUS West Virginia Brownfields grants — through the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center — have gone toward the Masonic Temple building.
The $5,000 stage 1 grant, which the URA split with the Fairmont Community Development Partnership, was used for asbestos testing on the facility. Then the URA received a $12,000 stage 2 grant for more work on the Masonic Temple.