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Storm water found in new Berkeley Co. judicial center

September 13, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Storm water found its way into Berkeley County's new judicial center when the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto hit the Eastern Panhandle over Labor Day weekend, forcing officials to replace carpet, County Commission President Howard Strauss confirmed last week.

County officials were not able to provide an estimated cost Tuesday, but Strauss said Friday the pumps for the dry "moat" around the complex of historic mill buildings in downtown Martinsburg had since been replaced.

Water was discovered in the corridor areas near the prosecuting attorney and probation offices on the first floor of the judicial center after the pumps apparently failed to keep up with the storm water.

"It backed up going in from the moat," Strauss said. "Fortunately, it was detected in time."

County Administrator Deborah E. Hammond said Tuesday the pumps were expected to be replaced as part of the renovation of the mill buildings, which once housed the Blue Ridge Outlets shopping center. About 4 inches of rain was recorded in Martinsburg from the remnants of Ernesto.

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Including about $2,103,196 in change orders through July 26, 2006, the general contract for the project awarded to Brechbill & Helman Construction Co. Inc., amounted to $19,147,196. A current estimate for architectural services was not immediately available. In early 2002, the Berkeley County Commission purchased the outlets complex for $3.8 million.

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