RCDA OKs bid for Armstrong expansion

ELKINS — Randolph County Development Authority officials held a special meeting Thursday to take a look at revised bids for the upcoming Armstrong Flooring expansion project.

Members of the RCDA approved accepting the revised bid from Paramount Builders LLC, of St. Albans, in the amount of $7,713,892 for the project. Board members Hoy Ferguson and Nathaniel Bonnell abstained from voting.

A second motion was made to authorize RCDA Executive Director Robbie Morris to execute a contract with Paramount Builders, on behalf of the RCDA, and to implement “funding mechanisms” necessary to fund the project. Ferguson and Bonnell also abstained from voting on this motion.

On July 6, RCDA officials received two bids for the project that would add 85,000 square feet and up to 50 jobs to the Beverly facility. The original bids were in the amount of $8,478,000 from Paramount Builders LLC, and the second was in the amount of $10,366,000 from BBL Carlton, LLC, of Charleston.

The RCDA had planned to accept a bid during their August regular meeting on Aug. 1; however, the original bids had come in over what the organization had budgeted for, so revisions were made to the proposals.

Armstrong Flooring is the largest pre-finished hardwood flooring plant in the country. Made possible by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the project was announced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., along with federal, state and local officials, the Randolph County Development Authority and Armstrong leaders in October.

The distribution center project also is expected to help retain 60 existing jobs and generate approximately $16.2 million in private investment, officials said during the October announcement.

Opened in 1989 along U.S. 250 south of Beverly, the Armstrong facility produces flooring from oak, hickory and maple, and currently employs more than 600 people. Plans call for the new construction to begin this summer and be completed in the summer of 2019.

The project will enable Armstrong to consolidate storage of its finished flooring products at the plant, instead of shipping products to off-site distribution centers. Additional space also will be available for potential future expansion of manufacturing capacity, officials said.