Agencies make offer on old Armory

A group of Randolph County agencies and associations has made an offer to purchase the former Elkins National Guard Armory, officials said this week.

“We’re still in negotiations with the Armory people,” Randolph County Commissioner Mike Taylor told The Inter-Mountain Wednesday. “We sent them a letter of intent. They set a price and we felt we could afford it. Now we’re waiting to hear back from them.”

Taylor said he could not publicly discuss the price during the negotiation process.

The County Commission and Elkins City Council have been working with the Randolph County Development Authority and the Mountain State Forest Festival board of directors to obtain the former Armory for use as a community building.

“The city’s and the county’s legal counsels got together to draft the letter of intent,” Taylor said.

Should the offer be accepted, both the County Commission and City Council will have to vote before the deal can go through, Taylor said.

Construction of the new $15.5 million Armed Forces Reserve Center, located just off Corridor H near Belington, has made the old Armory obsolete.

The former Armory is located on approximately 8 acres near Elkins Middle School and is approximately 20,000 square feet.

“They have about seven tractor-trailer loads of furniture and equipment stored in the building, which has worked to our advantage, as it’s given us more time to work on getting an offer together,” Taylor said.

In January, a feasibility study, initiated by the RCDA, was presented to local agencies to provide information on the costs of maintaining and upgrading the building.

At the time, officials were told they would have about six months to decide whether or not they could put together a plan to purchase the building.

Speaking about the former Armory in May, Taylor said the 40-year-old building is in good repair.

“There’s a lack of a big public facility in the county,” he said at the time, explaining if the project does move ahead, the site eventually might be used for dances, receptions, large meetings, auctions and more. “I think there are so many positive aspects of that being used as a community center.”