Blue skies and a warm sun greeted officials and Logan residents to the ribbon cutting and dedication of the W.Va. State Office Building on Friday afternoon.
The 54,000 square foot building has five floors, was designed by McKinley and Associates and the contractor was Massaro Corporation. The project was completed late, mostly because 308 days were lost because of things beyond control, things including the loss of the historic Aracoma Hotel and the storms last summer.
Tenants of the building include the Department of Health and Human Resources, Workforce W.Va., Division of Rehabilitation Services, Insurance Commission, State Tax Department and the Workforce Investment Board. The total number of employees is 127.
The Rev. Douglas Craven of First Presbyterian Church led the invocation, the Logan High School band played the National Anthem, scouts from Boy Scout Troop 58 led the Pledge of Allegiance before Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti began by introducing the officials and introducing Congressman Nick Joe Rahall.
Congressman Rahall thanked the mayor for providing the City of Logan with dedicated leadership. He went on to say, “Today’s success is one of the textbook’s on economic development. It shows what you can do with old-fashioned determination, determination to let the dirt fly. We all know that our late Sen. Robert Byrd was fond of quoting the book of Proverbs on occassions like today: Without vision, the people perish. Today we celebrate one man’s vision. A man who knows how to let the dirt fly. Earl Ray Tomblin may be the governor of West Virginia, but he was, is and always will be a Son of Logan County.”
Sen. Joe Manchin was represented by Mike Browning, who read a greeting from Manchin.
“This project began on June 18, 2008, during my tenure as governor. I was as proud then as I am now to work with each of you to make this dream a reality. McKinley and Associates has designed not only a gorgeous building, but a facility that is practical for the citizens of this region. Massaro has built not only an impressive building, but a facility that will withstand the tests and trials of time. This building will provide services from various agencies under one roof.”
Mayor Noletti introduced Cabinet Secretary for the W.Va. Department Administration Ross Taylor.
“What a beautiful day it is today. A day which has been a long time coming. I would like to express my gratitude to the citizens of Logan County, the state employees and business partners who worked tirelessly on this project to make it possible for us to be here today to celebrate such a beautiful facility.”
Taylor expressed thanks to the city, architects and contractors for their hard work, patience and dedication. He introduced Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Tomblin said it was a great day for him and for the people of Logan County and Southern West Virginia.
“This building has been a long time in coming. It was an idea that was hatched about ten years ago. It was a dream that I had as we saw many of our businesses start to shift out of the City of Logan over to the mall area of the City of Logan.”
The governor told the gathering the building was an investment in the future, “In my own opinion that you’ve got to invest if you are going to create jobs and do good things. It was one of the hopes that I have for this building, which was about a $16 million investment of the citizens of West Virginia, which is a bright spot in Logan that shows some revitalization. As I travel around the state, I see many cities the size of Logan and many of them don’t look very good. Many have changed their whole personality. They have gone back in and reinvented themselves.”
Tomblin said some of the towns have little specialty shops that line their streets, restaurants and entertainment. He says the City of Logan has the potential to do all of those things and the new State Office Building is a great way to start some new life here in the City of Logan. He also mentioned a new trailhead for the Hatfield McCoy Trails will be coming into downtown Logan, bringing hundreds of thousands of tourism dollars with it.
“We’ve got to have something for people who come here. We’ve already got one thing and that’s good, friendly people in Logan County. We just want to continue to build upon that.”
Tomblin said the project had taken a long time and he thanked all the people who worked tirelessly to get it completed including who donated the property to the City of Logan and County Administrator Rocky Adkins who made sure all the “i’s were dotted and t’s crossed,” the Logan County Commission and Logan Mayor and City Council and everyone who had a role in the project and getting it completed.
Officials cut the blue ribbon to officially open the building, refreshments were served and building tours were conducted following the ceremony.