March 18, 2012
Water Development Authority building $3.2M offices on vacant lot
Lawrence Pierce
The West Virginia Water Development Authority's new office, located on the corner of Bullitt and Spring streets, will have an entrance and exit accessibility from Bullitt Street and an exit-only onto Spring Street, said Jarrett Construction president and manager John Jarrett. The 1.7-acre site used to be a storage yard for Pfaff & Smith concrete.
Lawrence Pierce
Kanawha Valley Construction employees Billy Hoffman (left) and Scott Wade work on the state Water Development Authority's $3.2 million office, which is scheduled for completion in July.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lot once covered in gravel that served as a storage yard for a concrete plant will soon be the state Water Development Authority's $3.2 million office headquarters.

Construction of the authority's 14,000-square-foot building, on the corner of Bullitt and Spring streets, will be completed in July, said Director Chris Jarrett. Employees will move into the 17-room office building at 1009 Bullitt St. by September.

The building has an ADA-approved elevator. One hundred parking spaces will occupy the remaining outside space.

The 1.7-acre site served for many years as a storage yard for Pfaff & Smith, whose concrete plant -- now Arrow Concrete -- lies across Spring Street. Joe Fazio's restaurant is just down the street and BB&T's operations center in the former Diamond Ice building is next door.

WDA, a non-tax-supported entity, paid $450,000 for the site, Jarrett said.

WDA currently owns a condominium-style office space in the Northgate Business Park, 180 Association Drive, but they have outgrown the building, he said. The WDA shares the space with its sister agency, the state Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council, which will rent and share space in the new office building.

The group plans to sell or lease the Northgate office space to another government agency, Jarrett said.

Three years ago, WDA switched from a paper to an automated system. Officials and the public can now track a project's success at www.wvinfrastructure.com.

Monitoring a construction project's success online ensures that they are completed as quickly as possible, he said. The online switch increased their staff size, Jarrett said, resulting in the need for more space.

"The GIS-based [geographical information] system has given us, and anybody, the ability to track projects at any time and check on any project they want to," Jarrett said. "It's to help us manage these projects much more effectively and efficiently. [The new system] required us to get some additional personnel. Frankly we've outgrown this building ... it was not conducive for long term."

In their current building, two people are sharing an office that one person may have occupied before, Jarrett said. But increased staffing is not the only reason for the move.

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