WINFIELD, W.Va. -- In the building where Winfield City Clerk Gloria Chapman works, it's hard for two people to move their chairs at the same time without bumping into each other.
"I've had people come into the town hall to pay a bill and laugh and say, 'Is this your town hall? Was this a one-room schoolhouse?' I can't tell you how many people have asked me that," Chapman said.
Winfield's current city hall is cramped and crumbling, she said. That's why City Council members have identified a building on Winfield Road that Mayor Randy Barrett says could serve as the city's next municipal building.
According to Barrett, council members approved talks with the owner of the building on W.Va. 817 across from the McDonald's in Winfield. Barrett said he's determining how much buying the building would cost the city.
But the mayor estimates it would take about $800,000 -- much less than the $2 million to $2.5 million estimate he got last year for a new building.
"With prevailing wages and the way any city has to build things, that is what we'd be looking at," Barrett said. "This building already exists, it's up to code, and we could have it for much less than that. It's a big money-saving thing."
According to Barrett, Winfield's current city hall on Main Street was built to serve as a water treatment facility in the 1940s.
"It's been added on to, and the foundation is cracking," he said. "If you have to meet more than three people, you have to meet in our council room, and if you're holding more than one meeting at a time, everybody is in the same room, and it's happened quite often since I've been here.
"It's an old, old building, and Winfield really needs to move forward."
Barrett wants to put city hall and the police department in the new building, and convert the current police headquarters along the Kanawha River into a community center.
"If everybody's under one roof, the efficiency is much better," he said. "Winfield doesn't really have much in the way of a community center, so the plan would be to move the police station and ourselves under one roof and put a community center where the police station is."