Officials provide update on collapsed buildings in Beckley

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Almost a year ago, two buildings collapsed in downtown Beckley, and efforts to rebuild and replace are continuing.

When the New law office and Walton Bond buildings collapsed last June, not only were the buildings beyond repair, the impact damaged the surrounding buildings as well.

On one end of Main Street, the Richmond and Company CPA building completed the reconstruction of the wall the building shared. On the other, the Wells Fargo building is still closed pending an evaluation. Behind the buildings, the roof of the Jan Care building is also now restored.

Without a building to house their office, Stephen New moved his firm to Harper Park.

“It is a great place for us to service our clients, it had just not been our intention about a year ago,” said Stephen New, the founder of New, Taylor, and Associates law firm.

For the empty plot of land, property owners are still deliberating what to do. Mayor Rob Rappold and New agreed one thing needs to happen no matter what.

“Engage in some sort of public private partnership to do something that benefits both the property owners and the city of Beckley on that extremely important block of the city,” said Mayor Rappold.

“I think that revitalization and development of downtown is crucial to Beckley and Raleigh county,” said New.

New said he wants to do something with the space as soon as possible. He is waiting for something from which everyone will benefit.

“Even though it has been a year and it will be good for the city of development of that lot, it is still early,” said New.

Even though things are moving slowly, Mayor Rappold is excited for what is to come.

“So we are moving in the right direction. We are working on a project which would be a major boost, which would in essence, provide an anchor to Neville Street,” said Rappold.

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