New Charles Town City Hall open

January 30, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- On the weekend of Oct. 14, 2006, a two-inch water line ruptured in the top of Charles Town's City Hall, allowing water to run into the building for at least 12 hours, destroying computers and recording equipment, and soaking carpet and walls.

Water ran into a vault that was used to store old city records, causing the mammoth structure to rust.

Carpeting had to be ripped up and the long council meeting table was removed. Since then, many of the council's meetings have been at nearby Zion Episcopal Church while the building was renovated.

"It almost made you cry," Mayor Peggy Smith said at the time.

Now, after months of work, the new city hall is ready for business again and city officials are planning to welcome the public to see the building Monday.

Before next Monday's regular city council meeting, city officials invite the public into the building at 6:30 p.m. to see the work that has been done.


"Things are wrapping up finally," said Katie See, the city's associate planner.

It cost about $318,000 to renovate the building, part of which was covered by insurance, See said.

It was cheaper to renovate the vault than to remove it, and that part of the work cost about $89,000, according to See and acting City Manager Jeremy Camp.

The new room has a striking appearance, with beige carpet, a u-shaped council table and two large chandeliers that hang over the council seating and audience areas.

On one wall behind the council table hangs an LCD screen that can be hooked to a computer for PowerPoint presentations, Camp said.

The towering ceiling in the former Bank of Charles Town building has been reconditioned and lighting has been upgraded, Camp said.

Some offices have been reconfigured and old teller window parts that were still in the building when it was used as council chambers will be reused for customer service areas, Camp said.

City Hall hosts open house

Charles Town's City Hall renovation is complete, and city officials are inviting the public to see it. Before next Monday's regular City Council meeting, city officials are welcoming the public to the building at 6:30 p.m. to see the new features. City Hall is at the intersection of George and Washington streets downtown.

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