BridgeValley BOG considers purchase offers for former WVU Tech residence hall

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The BridgevValley Community and Technical College Board of Governors is considering purchase offers for Ratliff Hall in Montgomery.

The BOG met Wednesday to discuss three offers for the former residence hall on what used to be the WVU Tech campus. WVU gave BridgeValley several buildings when it left Montgomery for Beckley. A BridgeValley master plan finalized earlier this year calls for some of those properties to be sold or demolished.

Mark Blankenship

The BOG threw out a low offer of $50,000 Wednesday and decided to further consider two other offers, one for $200,000, the other for $255,000. The building has an appraised cost of $170,000.

Board members asked the BOG’s realtor Duke Jordan to gather more information about what the prospective buyers plan to do with the property.

BridgeValley BOG Chair Mark Blankenship said the board needs more information before taking one of the offers.

“Money’s not everything so I want to do what’s right for Montgomery and BridgeValley,” Blankenship said.

The $255,000 offer came from the Carolina Company owned by David Allen. He told the BOG that he’s in the hotel business and would be interested in converting Ratliff Hall into a shelter.

“I have the skillset and all of that behind me to operate a hotel and a shelter isn’t much different than a hotel and that would be a good use for that,” Allen said. “Obviously there are things that I would have to become familiar with.”

The person that made the $200,000 offer wasn’t part of Wednesday’s meeting and, along with Allen, will be asked to submit more information about their intentions before the BOG meets again next Wednesday.

Blankenship said the additional information will help the BOG make and informed decision.

“We’ll have to weigh the highest bid against the best use,” he said.

Barry Holstein

BridgeValley BOG Treasurer Barry Holstein agreed.

“We will be retaining a footprint in that area and so we want good neighbors and we want Montgomery to be pleased with how we’ve stewarded the property we have,” Holstein said.

According to the masterplan approved by BridgeValley’s BOG and the state Council on Community and Technical Colleges. that unless the buildings are transferred to state agencies or sold, demolitions are planned for Westmoreland Hall, GRID (engineering lab building), Pathfinder (engineering classroom building) and Ratliff Hall.

Other buildings included the Printing Innovation Center, Morris Creek Watershed building and the former Brown Chevrolet building and a single-family residence would be vacated.

The plans to demolish and vacate would reduce the square footage BridgeValley has at Montgomery from 298,000 to 93,000 square feet.

BridgeValley offers classes on campuses in both Montgomery and in South Charleston.

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