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As the Wheeling campus expands to meet the ever-changing needs of students and employers, the West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation has continued to provide significant assistance in furthering the institution’s goals. The most recent boost came with the foundation’s investment in downtown real estate.
“That the WVNCC Foundation agreed to purchase the former Electrical Contractors Supply building behind the B&O Building is another important step in cementing our plan for a consolidated, expanded Wheeling campus,” Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, Northern’s president, said. “Throughout the years the foundation board of trustees has been a thoughtful, engaged partner and consistently furthers not only the Wheeling campus but our campuses in Weirton and New Martinsville as well.”
Olshinsky pointed out the foundation has invested some $240,000 in the ECS building purchase, which includes the college’s $205,000 bid for the property, a premium for the auctioneer and funds for abatement issues within the structure. “The college will be paying back the foundation’s investment, with interest, and we are pleased the board chose to invest some of their funds in this manner,” the president said.
WVNCC Foundation leaders explained this is not the first time the board of trustees has stepped up to secure the college’s future. The board previously approved land purchases on the Wheeling campus that brought closure to a long-standing challenge---parking. The foundation helped the college purchase property that was turned into parking lots that completely alleviated that problem for students, faculty and staff.
Robert J. Krall, president of the WVNCC Foundation Board of Trustees, said, “We are fortunate to have very capable, generous and active board members who take their job seriously and work hard to find the best ways to assist the college. The board was unanimous in its support for this latest project.”
Abatement contractors already have toured the ECS building, and plans are under way for that project. The structure will be demolished, and the land prepared as a parking area in the near future. College officials said they will continue to study the best uses for the property but final decisions have not been made.
“We’ve already outgrown our space in the new Applied Technology Center which is a block from the new property,” Olshinsky said. “Suggestions have been advanced but further discussion needs to occur before finalizing anything,” he added.