City, county set to meet on Armory
ELKINS – Elkins City Council and the Randolph County Commission will meet in an unusual joint session Thursday to make an announcement about the proposed purchase of the former Elkins National Guard Armory.
“We’re going to meet jointly to discuss the future of the Armory,” Commissioner Mike Taylor told The Inter-Mountain Monday.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the James Cain Courthouse Annex. The only agenda item listed for the special meeting is “Discussion of purchase of the old National Guard
“We’re going to make an announcement together on what we’re going to do with the National Guard Armory,” Elkins Mayor Van Broughton told The Inter-Mountain. “We’ve been waiting on the final paperwork and now we’re going to go ahead and let everyone know what we’re doing.
“I’m very excited the city and county are working together on this,” Broughton said. “This is going to be a great announcement.”
The Armory purchase plan has moved forward with halting steps. On Aug. 7, Elkins City Council approved on its first reading an ordinance allowing the city and the County Commission to buy the former Armory. The second and final reading of the ordinance was on the agenda for Thursday’s City Council meeting, but after Council met in executive session for more than an hour no vote was taken on the issue.
The proposed Armory purchase plan’s price was announced as $200,000, with the cost being split equally between the city and county.
Taylor announced the Armory purchase plan at the July 17 Commission meeting. He said the deal would include the main Armory building, which is about 20,000 square feet, 8 acres of land near Elkins Middle School and several utility buildings.
Numerous outside entities have expressed interest in utilizing the building. The Mountain State Forest Festival has presented the County Commission with a letter of intent that they want to be an intricate part of the facility, possibly even a lessee, Taylor said.
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.
Construction of the new $15.5 million Armed Forces Reserve Center, located just off Corridor H near Belington, has made the old Armory obsolete.
In January 2013, a feasibility study, initiated by the RCDA, was presented to local agencies to provide information on the costs of maintaining and upgrading the building.