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Jefferson Co. buys building for sheriff, 911

April 14, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Deciding it was cheaper to purchase a building than to build it, Jefferson County Commission members agreed Thursday to pay $1.3 million for a building in the Bardane Industrial Park to house the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the 911 office.

Commission members said they were not sure who originally built the building, but said it has 14-inch thick walls and was designed with security in mind.

That, along with the fact that it can be expanded, is what made the building appealing for use by the sheriff's department and 911 operations, commission members said.

The commission agreed Thursday morning to sign a contract to purchase the building at 28 Industrial Blvd., providing that mechanical operations in the building are in good shape. The building is at the entrance to Bardane Industrial Park along Wiltshire Road and was recently housed an arts organization.

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Commission members had considered constructing a building for the sheriff's department and the 911 center and had agreed to seek the help of an architect to draw up a proposal.

It became clear that purchasing the building in the Burr Industrial Park would be a cheaper way to provide the space, Morgan said.

Morgan could not say how much cheaper purchasing the building would be, but said it is in the "millions of dollars. We're looking at an immense savings," Morgan said during the meeting.

Commission President Greg Corliss said previously that the sheriff's department, which employs about 26 people, needs to be moved because the department's offices in the Mason Building along West Washington Street in Charles Town are not in a good location.

Moving the sheriff's office would also free up county government office space downtown, Corliss said.

A new 911 center is being considered because the current one, which is in the same building as the Jefferson County Health Department in Bardane, does not have enough space, officials have said. About 25 people work at the 911 center.

The concrete block building which the commission is purchasing is about 10,000 square feet and can be doubled, Morgan said.

The new building will have better parking for the sheriff's department and the department will have easier access to county highways, Morgan said.

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