WHEELING, W.Va. — A multi-day online auction of equipment and furnishings left inside buildings at the former Ohio Valley Medical Center campus in Wheeling is set to begin Thursday.
Wheeling City Manager Bob Herron told MetroNews that it has been a ‘monumental task’ to organize items and put them online for the even from Oct. 1. to Oct. 10. Wheeling City Council approved the purchase of the Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) property, including its five buildings, in June after the hospital closed its door in September of last year.
Herron said the California-based Alecto, that owned OVMC, left behind most of its equipment and furnishings that resulted in the city planning three or four auctions to ‘generate income for operations.’
“They basically left most of what would be typical hospital furniture and equipment in the building. Since that time, they have removed some of that equipment prior to the city closing on it,” Herron told MetroNews.
Herron said the city has organized items such as hospital beds, blood pressure machines, couches, and chairs, into lots to be sold. According to him, companies as far as Chicago have expressed interest in the auction.
The city is actively marketing the buildings on 800,000 square foot campus in downtown to the private sector for future use including the South Tower, East Tower, Education Administration Building, and West Tower. He did not rule out another hospital or healthcare entity going back to campus but said chances are ‘not very great.’
“Our thought was if we can clear the buildings out from the hospital type items in there, generate some revenue, that would better prepare the buildings for a more flexible use from a commercial perspective,” Herron said.
Herron said the buildings are in great shape but need a few repairs including a waterline replacement. MPT, a real estate company out of Birmingham, Alabama has maintained the facility while it sits empty.
“There are a few items that are internal to the buildings that need to be addressed but for the most part, all the windows are in very good condition, the roofs are in good condition, the brick is in good condition, all the doors and elevators work,” Herron said.
One building on campus, the Valley Professional Building, will be converted to a new headquarters for the Wheeling Police Department in a long-awaited move.