The idea was that at some point the church would expand into the property, he said.
"Since Father [now Monsignor] Sadie came here, we have grown substantially."
Tenants had to be evicted in 2010 to allow detailed planning for renovation, Hoyer said. The building may also have asbestos issues, city building officials have said.
"To perform the evaluation we're doing now, in order to see if the floors line up, you have to dig around a little," Hoyer said. "Thank God they do."
Tony Harmon, the city building commissioner, said city inspectors have visited the site.
"Somebody was in there at one point. We stopped it," he said several weeks ago. "They needed to get an asbestos abatement report. They said they were just cleaning up. It was my understanding they said they were working for the Catholic church.
"It's basically in pretty rough shape," Harmon said. "It's a problem. We just hope the economy gets built back up so people fix these buildings up, find a use for them."
Hoyer said he's been busy on other projects. "It's not that we've been idle."Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.