WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The Winfield City Council voted 4-3 in favor of purchasing a building on W.Va. 817 to serve as the city's next municipal building and show residents and visitors Winfield's "vision to move forward."
"When someone comes in for anything and the first thing they see is this little town hall here, and they ask if it was a schoolhouse and see it's an old building, they'll think we have no vision, that we're not planning to move ahead," said Mayor Randy Barrett. "I'm trying to move this town ahead."
According to Barrett, appraisals to build a town hall with enough space to house the Winfield Police Department and meet the needs of the city would cost between $1.5 million and 2.5 million, or $175 per square foot of commercial property.
The city was able to purchase a building that currently houses PJ's Daycare for $735,000. It also purchased land adjacent to it for an additional $30,000.
It will cost $30,000 more to prep the land for pavement and $25,000 to lay asphalt, plus a projected $38,700 for interior adjustments, for a total of roughly $860,000, or $112 per square foot.
The building, which is less than 2 years old, exceeds the expectations the city had for space when it looked into building a new City Hall, Barrett said.
"The biggest problem in planning and building that people have is they never build for the future," said Denny Sansom, a member of the Municipal Building Commission. "They built a sewer plant here and, by the time they had it built, it was too small. It happens all the time; you never look ahead. If he's got a building down there now that we can put people in and still have room to expand, that could last 20, 30, 40 or 50 years."
Dale Vance, a planning commission board member and co-owner of Stone Ridge Development, the company that owns PJ's Daycare, originally proposed that the city trade the building for nearly four acres of property adjacent to its power plant, but the city opted to buy the building outright.