Ground broken for new National Weather Service building in South Charleston

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Weather Service will have a new regional home in South Charleston.

The ground was broken Thursday at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park on Building 754, which will house the National Weather Service and other future tenants. The 24 employees at the National Weather Service (NWS) will completely move out its location at 400 Parkway Road in Charleston and into the new digs in Spring 2022.

“When we think about technology and science, you have to think about the climate and our weather. We will be bringing in meteorologists and other scientists to the park that impact our lives every day,” Matt Ballard, CEO and Executive Director of the Tech Park told MetroNews on Thursday.

“Whether you are going out for a round of golf or thinking about gardening for the year, there are so many different business aspects to what the weather impacts,”

The 258-acre tech park located at 1740 Union Carbide Drive features 40 buildings and tenants including ALS, West Virginia Laboratories, Chemical Alliance Zone, N3, Dow, Alpha Technologies, and Bridge Valley Community and Technical College.

Building 754 will be a total of 22,000 square feet, located behind Building 740. The board of directors for the Tech Park approved additional investment in Building 754 to provide room for future growth and development at the Tech Park. Ballard told MetroNews the building will be double the size of what the NWS wanted.

Jamie Bielinski, Meteorologist-in-Charge for the NWS said the workers such as meteorologists, hydrologists, electronic staff and information technology, are looking forward to the move. The current building, which was constructed in 1994, has had issues including a mold breakout in 2018.

“We are thrilled to relocate our operations at the Tech Park,” Bielinski said. “This site was able to provide all the technical enhancements to meet our specific needs, including high-speed broadband, utility redundancy, and the ability to construct a building that met our specialized Program of Requirements.

“A bonus was joining the community of scientists from different industries already located here.”

With the addition of Building 754 and the NWS, the Tech Park will bring the Science On a Sphere exhibit to benefit various educational opportunities for the community. Ballard said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent company of the NWS, gave the park the opportunity for the exhibit that teaches children about the globe and weather.

Bielinski said it’s an exciting move and welcome addition.

“The nice thing for us is it’s going to leave lots of opportunities to bring buses in, bring kids for school tours. Where before, we didn’t have the space to do that. Hopefully when COVID is over, maybe even a large open house for the community,” Bielinski said.

Details about the exhibit will come once the project is complete. The construction is expected to last 12 months, which would put the building on pace to open next March.

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