Residents concerned following partial building collapse in Uptown Beckley

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — UPDATE: Beckley City Council met Tuesday evening to discuss the ongoing issues with a crumbling building in Uptown Beckley.

The building on 227 Prince Street was closed weeks ago due to debris falling off and posing a danger for the public. A bid was placed in March to demolish the building but was not accepted by the Council.

Beckley Mayor Robert Rappold said a later bid given is 80 thousand dollars higher than the original because the deterioration has progressed — but it needs to be done.

North Heber Street is closed after a partial building collapse in Uptown Beckley.

“The facia part of that building was starting to buckle out, which evidently over the weekend part of it collapsed into the street,” Beckley Director of Public Works, Jerry Stump, said. “It’s not a whole lot of debris, but there’s a little bit there. It doesn’t look to be in any imminent danger.” 

The city had plans to demolish the building in March, but those talks were tabled due to the historic significance of the building.  

“It’s been going on for several years now, trying to get folks to look at the building to possibly revamp the building from the roof down and haven’t been successful to be able to do that,” Stump added. “So the city had looked at getting it tore down. I’ve had probably four or five different people look at it to renovate it and said it wouldn’t be cost-effective to do that. So, at this point it just appears that it’s just the best scenario with it.”

For Beckley resident, Amanda Cash, significance or not, she said these abandoned buildings need to be addressed in a more urgent matter by the city 

“Honestly, as a citizen and a tax payer of Beckley, I think Beckley Public Works should bring the building down,” Cash said. “If it’s causing damage to the city, what’s the use in even having the building still standing? If they could just hurry up and get the building tore down, I think the citizens of Beckley would be a lot happier.”

The council has put talks about the future of the building back on the agenda for their meeting this week.  Stump said he spoke with the contractor and they will honor the quote given back in March should the city move forward with the demolition.

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