Demolish or Renovate?: Beckley City Councilmembers tour old building

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 227 Prince Street is home to an old Beckley building that Code Enforcement deemed unsafe.

The city owns the building and council members have a decision to make. Some city leaders took a tour of the building on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 including City Councilman at Large, Cody Reedy.

“I didn’t want to vote on it in our meeting last Tuesday because I wanted to go in an actually see what the building was like,” Reedy said.

Inside the building, ceilings are falling through, there’s some water spilling in, and there is major damage to the roof. Some council members, like Kevin Price, think the building is too unsafe, and after another building collapsed in Beckley last year, they do not want history to repeat itself.

“I think it’s pretty much done. It has some major issues of walls buckling, corners failing, the parapet up front is pushing out which lends itself to a lot of internal damage inside which deems the building unsafe,” Price said.

But some council members think the building could be saved, and potentially made into something great for the city.

“I think it’s a very good location and you’re ten, fifteen feet away from the courthouse. You’re in downtown Beckley. We are wanting to build and make it thrive, and I think it would be a great opportunity for someone to take it over,” Reedy said.

City Treasurer Bille Trump said it would cost millions to renovate the building. Money he says the city cannot allocate for that project.

But council members question if that is the case.

“I personally think its salvageable. I think the numbers that were given are a little high,” Reedy said.

Council members will vote on whether to tear down the building next Tuesday at their meeting.

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