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[Berkeley Spgs] Company to demolish burned courthouse

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Design for new Morgan courthouse unveiled

Key --

1. $11 million project.

2. 3-story building that will 'maintain the feel' of the town. No basement due to flooding.

3. Main entrance at Washington Street instead of Fairfax Street.

4. 40,000 sq. ft. -- meets all ADA requirements.

5. "A 28-foot archway has been proposed for the entrance to the two-toned courthouse, which could be built from sandstone and brick."

6. Clock tower will be added as well.

Article information: "Design for new Morgan courthouse unveiled, By SHERREE CASPER, Journal [Martinsburg], 3/11/2007"

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Governor: No rebuild policy

Here is a rendering --

461859334_bf4e60f749_m.jpg

Key --

1. The proposed courthouse is a three-story, 40,000 sq. ft. complex. It will cost approximately $12 million.

2. Manchin stated that the state has no 'money dedicated for funding county or town government buildings', adding that the state has ever built a courthouse.

3. The commission approved a 9% property tax increase to generate funds to finance $4 million ncessary in revenue bonds. The bonds would be paid back over a time frame of 30 years.

4. The county has received $4 million from insurance as well as donations. It is short only ~$4 million.

Article information: "Governor: No rebuild policy, By SHERREE CASPER, The Journal [Martinsburg], 4/14/2007"

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Bath eyes courthouse options

Notes --

1. Members of the Town of Bath Council will meet with Governor Joe Manchin on May 17 to seek state funding to help set up town offices in a new courthouse planned for Morgan County. They are seeking a "no interest loan" from the state.

2. The new courthouse is a 40,000 sq. ft., three-story complex. It will also house the sheriff's office. The center is being designed currently and is expected to cost $12.5 to construct. The town offices would require a 1,500 sq. ft. addition and cost approximately $350,000. The current town space off of Wilkes Street has 2,700 sq. ft.

Article information: "Bath eyes courthouse options, By SHERREE CASPER, Journal [Martinsburg], 5/8/2007"

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Costs for new courthouse rise

Notes --

1. The price tag for the court house has escalated. It would now cost $250/square foot, higher than the previous estimate of $230. The three-story, 40,000 sq. ft. courthouse was expected to cost $12.7 million. The additional costs would increase the price by $800,000.

2. Representatives from the Town of Bath met with the Morgan County commissioners to discuss the town's contribution if it was included in the new courthouse. So far, commissioners have shown "little interest" in including Bath, as the new courthouse will provide less space than the previous. The state is offering no money for the rebuilding, although Governor Manchin has said that the town should be included.

3. The town would seek 2,500 sq. ft. of office space, free use of a conference room eight evenings a month with seating capacity for 40, and use of a courtroom two days a month. The town's contribution would be between $550,000 and $600,000. The town could raise $350,000 in funds by selling some of the community's assets. The requested space (2500) would now cost $625,000.

Article information: "Costs for new courthouse rise, By SHERREE CASPER, Journal [Martinsburg], 6/3/7"

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Morgan County Courthouse design altered

By Sherree Casper, The Journal [Martinsburg], August 11, 2007

A new, scaled-down plan for the Morgan County Courthouse will be unveiled Thursday at a public meeting. The architect, Thomas M. Potts, redesigned the courthouse to just two levels that will connect to the Morgan County Magistrate Court and family court building. A third floor can later be constructed if funding becomes available. The new two-level courthouse will be more economical, as the original design for the 40,000 sq. ft. structure would have been $11 million. The new 30,000 sq. ft. design would cost about $10 million.

The courthouse will open from Washington Street, and will connect off the west wall of the magistrate court. Tax, county clerk, and assessor's offices would be on the first floor, with the circuit clerk and prosecutor's offices on the second floor. The main circuit courtroom would be on the second floor, with the commission office on the first floor.

The county will have approximately $3.5 million to $4 million from insurance money. County officials are hoping that they can receive a $5 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, but will not be able to apply for it until October 1. A debt capacity study is currently underway. Under the USDA loan, the county would repay $300,000 for 30 to 40 years at an interest rate of 4.25%. U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is also seeking $1.7 million in federal earmarks for the rebuilding project.

Currently, county offices are located in mobile offices located in the downtown not far from the original courthouse. The county sheriff's department is sharing space with the county's rescue squad building, and the prosecutor's office is in a former school building near the Board of Education offices.

The Morgan County Courthouse was destroyed by a fire on August 8, 2006.

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Morgan courthouse plans unveiled

By Sherree Casper, The Journal [Martinsburg], August 20, 2007

Two plans for the proposed Morgan County Courthouse were unveiled last week. The two-story versions of the courthouse were on display, as well as a possible three-story structure that would be possible if more funding becomes available in the future. A minimum of 40,000 sq. ft. is required, taking into consideration county staff space to record keeping. A final design could be developed within the next four weeks. The project's timetable has the date, however, at February 29, 2008. A project bid could be had on April 26, 2008, and completion on December 30, 2009.

It will cost approximately $9.9 million for a two-story courthouse, $11 million for a two-story courthouse with a top shell, and $12.9 million for a completed three-story courthouse. the price tag for the original 40,000 sq. ft. courthouse project was $13 million.

The county will have anywhere from $3.5 million to $4 million from insurance money towards the rebuilding project. A $6 million loan could be granted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a $9 million zero-interest loan from the state Legislature. U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is seeking $1.7 million in federal earmark funds.

The Morgan County Courthouse was destroyed in a fire on August 8, 2006.

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