SUGAR GROVE, W.Va. — The president of the Pendleton County Commission has high hopes for the redevelopment of the abandoned Sugar Grove Naval Station after the U.S. General Services Administration announced an online auction concluded last week with a high bidder.

“One of the concerns we had was it just may sit there idle,” Gene McConnell told MetroNews. “But that isn’t going to happen now and I’m very pleased to see that.”

The GSA accepted a bid of $11.2 million and awarded the contract, expecting a closure on the sale of the property within 60 days.

Information about the high bidder or plans to reuse the former Naval base were not made available yet.

“They’re not disclosing the bidder and that may be the bidder’s desire too,” McConnell said.

Most citizens would like to see “something productive” there to provide an economic benefit for the county, he said.

“That could be forms of job creation, building the tax base in the county, whatever it takes,” McConnell said.

The property includes 122 acres of remote forest and open land. The facility has residential space, office space, dormitory style housing, eating facilities, recreational facilities and a fire and police station among other amenities.

“I had a personal expectation or hope that the V-A might look at this as a facility for returning veterans with PTSD,” McConnell said. “It would be an absolutely perfect facility for that.”

Earlier this year, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin decided not to pursue the Naval Base for a women’s prison, but instead, focus more on a possible site in Mason County.

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