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Groundbreaking for new Morgan County Courthouse set for Saturday

September 04, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The Morgan County Courthouse construction project will begin officially at noon Saturday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

It will occur a little more than two years after the Aug. 8, 2006, fire that destroyed the courthouse and other county government offices.

The courthouse groundbreaking will be at the site of the old courthouse building on Fairfax and Washington streets.

The public is invited and refreshments will be provided, county administrator Bill Clark said.

"This is a new chapter," he said. "We are excited about finally breaking ground."

Several tents are to be put up for the ceremony, Clark said, and people will be protected if it rains.

U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin are scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

Morgan County Commission President Glen R. Stotler will welcome the crowd, and Commissioners Thomas R. Swaim and Brenda J. Hutchinson willĂ‚ introduce the speakers.

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State and local officials were invited to attend the ceremony, Clark said.

"I'm happy the project is moving forward," Hutchinson said Wednesday. "But I'm not happy with the cost to the county."

The three-story, 45,000-square-foot courthouse is estimated to cost $13.5 million.

Silling Associates, an architectural firm from Charleston, W.Va., designed the building and Milestone Construction Services of Sterling, Va., won the bid for construction.

The courthouse site has been used as a free parking lot. It will be closed beginning tonight, but will reopen and can be used for parking until construction begins.

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