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Roundhouse backers need time to raise more money

June 10, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A committee trying to raise $190,000 to buy an old B&O Roundhouse off Martin Street here will not have the money by a July 1 deadline, a member of the group told the Berkeley County Commissioners on Thursday.

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The roundhouse owners, CSX Corp. and local developer Moncure Chatfield-Taylor, have agreed to work with the Roundhouse Committee on extending the deadline, said committee Vice President Gordon Claucherty.

They have agreed to at least a two-month extension, said committee member Jim Smith.

CSX officials and Chatfield-Taylor could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The committee has raised $54,000 toward the purchase of the roundhouse, leaving $136,000 to be raised, Claucherty said.

Claucherty said his group has formed a second fund-raising committee that will work to get "substantial" donations to make the purchase. The committee is headed by local business people, including Brent Robinson, president and chief executive officer of One Valley Bank.

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"We got some pretty aggressive people on that committee that I think will go out and get the job done," County Commission President D. Wayne Dunham said.

Claucherty updated the commissioners on several issues regarding the attempted purchase.

As part of the fund-raising efforts, the committee wants to offer tours of the roundhouse to the public on July 3 for Roundhouse Rail Days. But the state Department of Environmental Protection has ordered that two environmental studies be conducted on the buildings before people can enter, Claucherty said.

The commissioners signed off on contracts from two engineering firms to determine if there is any asbestos in the roundhouse. One of the firms also will study the wooden block floor to determine if there are any dangerous substances present.

The floor is soaked with materials, Claucherty said, adding, "We really don't know what else might be in there."

Up to $3,400 has been set aside for the studies.

Claucherty said it is his hope that the studies can be completed before Roundhouse Rail Days are held.

If the roundhouse can't be used for the festival, there will be live music outside along Martin Street all day, Claucherty said. There also will be food and craft vendors.

That night, the Millbrook Orchestra will offer a concert at the Apollo Theater to raise money for the roundhouse purchase, said Claucherty.

Tickets will be $22 for adults and $12 for those 16 and under.

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