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Capito visits Panhandle

February 25, 2002|By SARAH MULLIN

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., visited the Eastern Panhandle on Friday and toured the Blue Ridge Outlets, the future site of a planned Berkeley County judicial complex.

She was joined at the outlets by Shepherd College officials with the Community and Technical College of Shepherd, which currently offers 19 programs in the Berkeley Building of the outlets.

The Berkeley County Commission plans to consolidate the county's court system in the Berkeley Building. The community college will relocate to the Dunn Building, where it will lease space from the county for $150,000 a year.

Other county offices, including the Planning Commission, also are expected to relocate into the complex.

The county signed a contract Feb. 11 to purchase the outlet complex from State Street Bank for $3.8 million. Commission President Howard Strauss said the county expects the purchase to be finalized in May.

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Last week, the County Commission received an estimate of $14.8 million from the engineering firm Spillis Candela DMJM for renovations and construction at the complex. Strauss said the county hopes to reduce that cost estimate.

Capito said her tour of the outlet complex - her first - helped her get more acquainted with the community college. She said she plans to work closely with the county and Shepherd College to seek financial assistance once the final cost of the work is determined.

Strauss said the county also plans to work with Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., to seek ways to offset the cost of the project.

Capito also visited Shepherdstown Elementary in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where she presented a plaque that contained her remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives highlighting the school as one of West Virginia's 50 exemplary schools.

Capito also participated in a roundtable discussion with local child development workers and care providers at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va.,

She had lunch at the Berkeley County Senior Center before ending her day with the tour of the outlets.

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