DARLENE J. SWIGER
The Exponent Telegram
WESTON, W.Va — More than $11.3 million worth of construction is underway on the new state Division of Highways District 7 headquarters and shop on U.S. 19 south of Weston.
The headquarters will feature about 30,000 square feet of floor space on three floors, DOH acting District 7 Engineer Brian Cooper said.
Wiseman Construction of Charleston submitted the low bid of $6.5 million for the headquarters project, Cooper said.
“The total square footage of 24,000 square feet will include offices, storage and garage bays to service all of the equipment,” he said. “They are currently submitting paperwork and expect to mobilize and begin foundation work very soon.”
Estimated completion is in the spring of 2018. At that time, the current DOH District 7 headquarters on Depot Street in Weston will relocate.
“Currently, District 7 has a lot of organizations spread out in Lewis and Upshur counties, with the equipment shop located in Buckhannon. This would provide a central location and make it a more efficient operation,” Cooper said.
Wiseman Construction has begun foundation work for the headquarters. The location is an old fill site, so workers had to pre-drill and drive piling to support the building.
Ben Shamblin, supervisor for Wiseman Construction, said they have been doing foundation work about four weeks.
“We had some water issues. It slowed us down a little, but we are working through it,” Shamblin said. “The next step will be digging for footers and grade beams.”
He estimated the headquarters will take one year to complete, depending on weather.
“We did a similar DOH headquarters in Charleston. But this one will be split-face block,” Shamblin said.
Shamblin estimates eight to 10 subcontracting companies will be involved in construction of the main facility.
Another contract, proposed for the spring of 2017, will extend sanitary sewer line from Bendale to the location.
The 32-acre site is midway between Exits 96 and 99 of Interstate 79, giving the DOH two accesses in case of emergency.
Eventually the site will house the entire district headquarters, comprised of offices, lab, sign shop, bridge maintenance and building and grounds office, as well as the warehouse, Cooper said.
“Upon completion of these two projects, we are hopeful to obtain funding to build these two other facilities in the near future,” he said.