CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — An annex housing the county’s circuit and magistrate courts could be in store for the Harrison County Commission.
Silling Associates presented the commission with two building options where a Harrison County Justice Center could be constructed during a commission meeting last week, each located at the corner of Second Street and Washington Avenue.
Commission President Ron Watson said the property, which sits behind the Chase Building on Third Street, expands from Modoc Alley to Washington Street.
“We’ve been able to design, already, a judicial building that would fit into that particular footprint, whether it’s a two story or a three story. We like the two story,” Watson said. “Now that takes in about four or five different property owners.”
Several businesses, including Kelly’s Irish Pub & Grill, Washington Square Pizzeria and Marion’s Beauty Salon, currently operate on the suggested property.
“We’ve already engaged the services of a legal firm to facilitate and deal with property owners to see if it’s attainable,” Watson said.
The first option that Silling Associates presented during Wednesday’s meeting was a two-story building with a footprint of approximately 231 feet by 188 feet. The proposed structure has 72,000 square feet of space, not including secure, off-street parking.
A second proposed building is a three-story, 84,000 square foot structure with a footprint of 159 feet by 184 feet, not including off-street parking.
“We own the parking lot right on the other side of Second Street that goes from Second and Washington down to where the State Building is now,” Watson said. “So we’re looking at the property we already own and whether or not the footprint of this structure could fit on that.”
Commission previously discussed renovating the existing Harrison County Courthouse to fill the needs of the county’s judicial services, a project that would’ve cost the Commission as much as $20 million, Watson said.
“It was determined that we needed to do some major improvements,” he said. “We actually came up with a plan, but as we continued to look at it, it would’ve displaced a lot of individuals. As an example, we would have to take the magistrate court out of the building temporarily and some of the other services that’s part of the judicial process, as well.”
Moving forward, Watson said the Commission must identify which property to pursue and funding options for purchase and construction.
“There’s a lot of steps in the process to get us to the point of identifying where the funding source is going to come from,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen overnight.”