"Clerk of the works" to oversee Renovation of former Martin's grocery store in Martinsburg

July 01, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Council voted unanimously Thursday to recruit a "clerk of the works" to act as the county's on-site representative for the planned renovation of the former Martin's grocery store in Martinsburg.

The building is being renovated to house the sheriff's law-enforcement division, which is currently headquartered at 802 Emmett Rousch Drive, where deputies work in cramped conditions.

 The division shares the building with 911/Central Dispatch and the county's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which officials say also need additional space.

Council members voted separately Thursday to recruit a project architect for the renovation.

Both positions are contractual, and no benefits would be provided, according to county officials.

In a separate meeting on Thursday, the Berkeley County Building Commission proposed an ordinance for the issue of not more than $7 million in bonds to pay off a $3.1 million loan the county obtained from City National Bank to purchase the Martin's grocery store property, which is part of a 5.5-acre shopping plaza in the 500 block of South Raleigh Street.

The plaza, which is across South Street from the Berkeley County Judicial Center in Martinsburg, also once included a CVS/pharmacy.

What remains after the loan is paid off could be used toward the cost of renovations, county legal counsel Norwood Bentley III said Thursday.

The ordinance specifies the renovations would include roof replacement, new flooring, air-handling systems and other site improvements and internal construction to rehabilitate the building for use as office and storage space for the county's law-enforcement department.

The building commission will hold a second meeting on July 13 for the second reading of the ordinance, Bentley said. A public hearing will be held on July 28, he said.

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