CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Construction on the West Virginia Division of Highways' new District 1 headquarters building on Smith Street is on schedule and is expected to be ready for occupancy by September 2014.
The three-story brick structure is being constructed in a former parking lot, and the building will replace the current headquarters, which was built in 1970.
"Right now, we're on time," said Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Walker. "We've got good weather."
The new headquarters building is one of the earliest phases of a multi-million dollar project to revamp and renovate District 1's campus on the East End.
The headquarters construction ties in with renovations to the neighboring State Road Commission building, which was constructed in the 1930s. The building is currently vacant, but will be reoccupied when renovations are complete.
A skybridge will link the new district headquarters building and the SRC building, said Project Manager Travis Knighton.
District 1 conducts and administers Division of Highways activities in Kanawha, Putnam, Mason, Clay and Boone counties. In addition, the district is also responsible for some vehicle maintenance work for Department of Transportation vehicles in the state capital.
"We're trying to expand our footprint down there," Knighton said.
Walker confirmed that the Division of Highways has been renovating some of its 10 district headquarters around the state during the last several years. He said advances in technology and evolving needs of the division, as well as the age of some facilities, have made renovations at district headquarters necessary.
"We've been doing this around several other districts," he said. "We have a pretty comfortable footprint -- one that's worked well in other districts."
Walker made it a point to say that funding for the buildings is separate from money used to build and repair roads, and that in the District 1 project, work will be spread out over several years, with a tentative completion date of 2022.
"We want to be good stewards," he said.
The District 1 project includes renovating, demolishing and constructing buildings on either side of Smith Street from Ruffner Avenue to Morris Street. Barring major changes in the financial climate, Walker estimates all the work to cost a combined $32 million to $35 million.
For the current phase, the department is investing $6 million for the new headquarters construction. About $7 million will be spent on the SRC building.
"As we continue to upgrade the facility ... we have worked within budgets," Walker said.