New IRS center going up

June 06, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A new $87 million office complex for the Internal Revenue Service is beginning to take shape.

The new facility will consolidate IRS operations in Martinsburg. Studies done four years ago of IRS space needs in the city found no advantage to having operations divided among several facilities, according to Chuck Koeneke, spokesman for the IRS computing center along W.Va. 9.

The IRS currently operates a computing center along W.Va. 9 just east of Martinsburg and a training center and warehouse just east of the computing center. Twenty employees also work in the federal building on King Street downtown and about 16 workers are in the Foxcroft Professional Center near the Martinsburg Mall.

The plan is to move all the operations into a sprawling new IRS complex being built in the Liberty Business Park about a half mile east of the computing center. About 750 people will work in the building, officials said.


"It's definitely a better use of money," Koenecke said.

Steel for the 396,000-square-foot, two-story building is going up and workers are also putting together massive concrete walls for the building, IRS officials said.

The walls are being erected with precast, concrete slabs that are 32 feet long and 16 feet wide. The slabs weigh 23 tons and only one piece at a time can be brought to the construction side by tractor-trailer.

The complex is scheduled to be completed in October next year, Koeneke said. The move into the building will probably take several months, he said.

Besides moving office equipment, furniture and personnel, the IRS will have to move its computer operations without interrupting the service, said Koenecke.

"You don't flip a switch," he said.

The new center will maintain the agency's master files with all the background information for taxpayers in the country.

When the move is complete, the current computing center will be turned over to the federal General Services Administration. The building could be used for another federal agency, IRS officials said.

The IRS will join the U.S. Coast Guard as a federal presence in the Liberty Business Park. After the IRS facility is completed, a new entrance road for the Coast Guard will be built off W.Va. 9, officials said.

Because of the tight security at the IRS complex, it would have made it difficult for the Coast Guard to use the same road as the IRS in the Liberty Business Park, officials said.

The Herald-Mail Articles