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Martinsburg Clock Building renovation by St. Joseph begins

December 09, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - St. Joseph Parish School this week broke ground on a $3.5 million project that will put classrooms and a gymnasium in and around Martinsburg's Clock Building.

The school's 370 students attended a Monday ceremony for the project, which includes building a 10,000-square-foot gym in the parking lot of the Clock Building. The structure itself will be renovated for classrooms.

The Rev. John DiBacco of St. Joseph Catholic Church prayed for the construction to be successful and the workers to be safe from injury.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., bought the Clock Building in November 1997 for $2.3 million. The building used to house seven stores for the Blue Ridge Outlet Center.

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Once renovated, the building will be able to house 400 students, DiBacco said. Now the students, kindergarten through eighth grade, attend school in two of the church's three buildings across Stephen Street from the Clock Building.

The classrooms are expected to be ready for fall 2000, while the gymnasium will be a few months behind, said architect Ben Hatcher with Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc.

The design for the new gymnasium is not complete yet, so construction of the gym may not begin until spring, Hatcher said.

Once the project is complete, the older school buildings will be used for a parish meeting room, educational purposes and possibly a day care, school officials said.

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