Although there is a lot of momentum, not everything has gone smoothly during the park's first year:
On Nov. 28, about 90 days after he became executive director, Halstead published a draft of a strategic vision plan for the park. "Anyone who wants it can get a copy," he said. "We want comments." For a copy, email Halstead at phil.halst...@wvrtp.com.
Halstead said the park has just embarked on the process of procuring a national architectural and engineering firm to develop a comprehensive master plan for the park. "The goal is to have this by the end of 2012," he said.
Asked to characterize the current situation, Halstead said, "We are mobilizing a community of innovation to recreate the Union Carbide global technical center with 3,000 to 5,000 scientific, engineering and technical support jobs."
New jobs will start appearing as the three main buildings at the park are refurbished and begin filling up, he said.
"First is Building 2000, and it fills up with jobs. Then Building 770, and then Building 740, which is already 80 percent full. And the Advanced Technology Center gets done and fills up with jobs.
"We need to go vertical and put dense, big buildings in our park, then fill them with high-paying jobs," he said. "Reaching a critical mass is directly related to completion of the buildings and the building of new buildings.
"Concurrent with this, we have to begin marketing in the state, nation and world to get the word out to universities and companies worldwide that we're this friendly front door to chemical innovations with a unique selling proposition - we have four pilot plants and chemical workbenches. We can do bench work, scale up in the pilot plants, and do scale-up on a contract basis."
One plus for the park is the fact Paul Hill shepherded it from the time the state took over until Halstead was hired. Hill was the Higher Education Policy Commission's vice chancellor for science and research. On Tuesday he was named interim chancellor, effective Jan. 15.
"Science and technology are my personal passion and what I've been working on for a number of years," Hill said on Wednesday.
"I do feel the park is on track and while we're often frustrated by the speed of things, when you look back at what we've done the past year, we've accomplished a lot for a fledgling operation.
"One of the things I'm most pleased about, as I take on new responsibilities, is that we have Phil Halstead," Hill said. "He is a positive addition. He's spent the last 90 days absorbing all of the things going on and is now exerting some leadership in leading the park and all of the activities associated with it. I am pleased we have him on board to take us through this next stage."
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.