WHEELING, W.Va. — An auction of items left behind on the former campus of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling has been paused as city officials listen to inquiries about the property.
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott told MetroNews the city decided to halt the auction after hearing from a third-party interested in acquiring portions of the campus with the importance of the items as part of the consideration.
The multi-day online auction of equipment and furnishings was scheduled to wrap up on Saturday as the city had been looking for the event to further its marketing of the 800,000 square foot property to the private sector.
“Our primary goal all along is to get as much of the OVMC campus as we can back into the private sector’s hands. The city has no long-term interest in owning that facility except for the Valley Professional Center being converted into a police headquarters.”
Wheeling City Council approved the purchase of the downtown Wheeling Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) property, including its seven buildings, in June after the hospital closed its door in September of last year.
City Manager Bob Herron previously told MetroNews the California-based Alecto, which owned OVMC, left behind most of its equipment and furnishings that resulted in the city planning three or four auctions.
Hospital beds, blood pressure machines, couches, and chairs, were organized into lots to be sold. According to Herron, companies as far as Chicago have expressed interest in the auction.
Elliott said this is just a pause to the auction to see how the conversations with the third party progress. He would not confirm the type of entity interested but said the campus can be put to many uses, not ruling out another healthcare entity.
“It’s a huge campus with 750,000 square feet under roof with a parking garage. It has a lot of different uses whether that be educational, medical, housing, office, or all of the above,” Elliott said.
“We are going to listen to any offers out there to see what makes the most sense.”
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. Elliott said city council approved funding for design work for the building last month, which is connected to a parking garage and has a sally port.
“It was built in the 1990s, laid out for what we need and in good condition. We may even have extra space on one of the floors to move some city employees down the road. It’s going to be a very nice police facility, our police chief is excited about it and I think it’s a really good fit,” he said.
Elliott said the nurses’ residence is the only building on campus that is beyond repair and expected it to be torn down upon further development of the campus.