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Girl Scouts ready to set up camp

By Candace Nelson

The Girl Scouts are almost ready to set up camp on the West Side.

As doors are being hung, fixtures are going in and painting on the inside dries, construction on the new Girl Scout headquarters, located in a former car lot at 321 Virginia St. West, is wrapping up.

Officials anticipate a Nov. 1 completion date.

"Our dreams are starting to come true," said Beth Casey, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council. Casey assumed the CEO position on Sept. 1 after five years of being chief operating officer.

"We're still doing construction, so every day there's major changes," Casey said.

Since construction began in the spring, walls have been constructed, drywall is hung, the ceiling grid is about 85 percent in, and tiles are being laid. Hanging glass for the front windows is just about done.

The Girl Scouts are moving from their current location at 210 Hale St. to the Virginia Street location mainly for increased space. The new 24,600-square-foot facility will have space as well as parking on-site and easy access to highways.

"The property is going to allow us to support Girl Scouts and volunteers in that we're going to have a large volunteer resource center that will have our shop, staff offices, meeting rooms, conference rooms, computer training rooms," Casey said.

Next door will have a separate Girl Zone, which includes two dorm rooms that each sleep 12, so it will be able to hold 24 girls and four chaperones total. It will include room for a kitchen and "flexible" space for other activities inside.

Outside will feature a fenced-in area with green space and a fire pit.

"Girls will be able to have campfires, sing, cook and have some outside experiences while still staying in the city and exploring everything the Capital City has to offer - like cultural opportunities and more," she said.

The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond includes 61 counties in the council: 48 in West Virginia, nine in Ohio, three in Virginia and one in Maryland.

When girls visit the headquarters, they'll now have an area to stay - especially if they're traveling.

"What we're really excited about is offering an opportunity for girls to come to Charleston where they feel comfortable and safe," Casey said. "We did a 100th anniversary event last year and had girls from across the council come in and one thing we heard when we talked was their concerns about bringing girls to the big city."

"We want to offer a safe place for them to come, stay, have fun and experience Charleston."

The Charleston Daily Mail has previously reported that the former Charleston Lincoln Mercury building was purchased for $1.5 million.

Their current location on Hale Street, which is about 11,430 square feet, is listed for sale at $1 million.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148.



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