WEIRTON — Weirton Council, at its meeting on Monday, unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a contract for an appraisal of the Weirton Municipal Building.
The contract, which is not to exceed $20,140 plus out-of-pocket expenses, is with Thrasher Group and will establish a priority list for repairs or improvements to the building which opened in the 1970s.
Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone asked if the study would look at potential changes to the building’s footprint.
City Manager Mike Adams said it will focus more on the building’s current uses and needs.
“The main things are going to be the systems,” Adams said, noting in particular the facade, as well as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as security, accessibility and whether the space in the building can be used more efficiently. “It’s a pretty complete look.”
Adams noted that The Thrasher Group has been involved in previous evaluations of the city building, and familiarity with the company was seen as a benefit to the four-member selection committee.
Ward 2 Councilor Chris Jonczak, while voting in favor of the contract, questioned whether it would be appropriate to go ahead with any plans on the building, citing continued talks on a building plan of public safety.
Adams, however, said whatever decision is made with the proposed public safety building, the Weirton Municipal Building will remain and work is needed.
“This place is not going away” said Adams. “No matter how you slice it, it needs to be fixed.”
The Thrasher Group’s assessment should establish a priority list of repairs for the building. The Council in July authorized a search for a firm to carry out the assessment, with officials noting at the time that around $4 million had been set aside for such repairs.
The idea of renovations to the building has been discussed periodically for several years, with the latest study conducted in 2017 by the Larson Design Group. Some work on the HVAC systems has been done, but not a full top to bottom renovation as discussed.
(Howell can be reached at [email protected] and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)