CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The BridgeValley Community and Technical College Board of Governors voted Friday to move its operations from the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston to the old Staats Hospital building on Charleston’s West Side pending further study and approvals.
The board’s decision comes seven months after the BOG settled a nearly $1.7 million rent dispute with the technology park and signed a lease through September 2020.
Charleston Deputy Mayor Rod Blackstone said the board has been looking for new locations and took interest in the building on Washington Street West in the Capital City’s Elk City District.
“This will mean a whole lot of students coming to that section of Charleston, which is a dynamic area of the city and has enormous potential growth,” he said. “It’s a place where people have been investing, especially the Bullock family, and several other small businesses.
Blackstone said the move indicated in Friday’s vote still needs a feasibility study and some further action but it’s a significant step in the process.
“It is not fully signed, sealed and delivered but it is certainly an indication from the board of governors than BridgeValley will be seeking and working toward moving to the Elk City section of the West Side,” he said.
Tighe Bullock, president of Crawford Holdings LLC, purchased the Staats Hospital building in 2015.
“For the folks on the West Side who may not envision themselves going to a four-year institution, vocational and technical education becomes a neighbor, becomes a more realistic possibility in their lives,” Blackstone said.
The institution and Crawford Holdings will arrange a deal regarding finances, and city officials are helping officials identify service needs such as parking places and pedestrian safety.
Blackstone said the move would happen at the conclusion of the lease with the technology park in 2020.
BridgeValley Vice President of Academic Affairs Peter Soscia told the Charleston Gazette-Mail the school’s Advanced Technology Center would stay at the Tech Park.
Jeff Jenkins contributed to this story.