West Virginia State spokesman Jack Bailey said officials believe that structure can be renovated and used as office space for the university. It contains more than 31,000 square feet of offices, plus conference rooms.
"Beyond that it's going to be a work in progress," Bailey said. "We need to get in there and assess what there is, what its condition is, what its condition is now versus what it was."
Crews will begin assessing the condition of the other structures as early as this week, Bailey said, although officials "fully anticipate that many of those aren't going to be in usable condition." Those buildings will remain closed until they have been evaluated.
The decision to take over the facility was the result of WVSU's efforts to expand its campus. Logistically this property, which borders the school's campus in Institute, made sense to administrators. The Kanawha River blocks the campus on one side, the Interstate blocks it on another, and rows of houses block it on the third.
Even though a long-term plan for the property is still in the works, officials saw the grab for the property as a commitment to growth at the school.
"The potential academic and economic development opportunities of repurposing the former Rehabilitation Center property are significant," Hemphill said in a release. "WVSU is committed to developing a long-term strategy to support this expansion."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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