KEYSER - The Burlington United Methodist Family Services purchased the Alkire Mansion Tuesday morning for $25,000 and will be utilizing it as a boys' group home.


By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Burlington United Methodist Family Services purchased the Alkire Mansion Tuesday morning for $25,000 and will be utilizing it as a boys’ group home.
The City of Keyser auctioned off the pre-Civil War structure and had set a minimum bid of $25,000. No one else bid against BUMFS as auctioneer Bruce Hyre called the auction, standing on the steps of the building with a small group gathered on the grounds for the sale.
Mike Price, CEO for Burlington Family Services, did the bidding for the agency
According to the terms of the sale, BUMFS agreed to maintain the original facade of the building and to not demolish it.
Price said prior to the sale the agency had brought in a person who specializes in restoring historic buildings and he went through the mansion to get an idea of what renovations and updates would be needed.
In addition to new electrical wiring and plumbing, “We’ll have to put in a grinder pump to hook up to the sewer,” BUMFS representative Cindy Pyles told the News Tribune.
Cost of all the renovations needed are estimated at $250,000-$300,000.
BUMFS just completed renovation of the former Aging & Family Services offices at the intersection of Main and Piedmont streets, which included the demolition of a rundown apartment building behind the office building.
SARAH’s House, a service which works with juvenile victims of domestic abuse, has been relocated there.
According to Pyles, the Alkire Mansion will be utilized as a boys’ group home for those young men who would function well in an off-campus setting and are able to attend the public school system.
The boys are currently housed in the Craig House on the Burlington campus, and once they move to their new location Craig House will be made available to families coming for visits with their children, church work groups that come in to volunteer with the agency, and volunteers who travel from all over the region to work at the annual Apple Harvest Festival.
Pyles said the purchase of the Alkire Mansion - and the agency’s pledge to restore the historic building into something useful -  is a win-win situation for both the agency and the community.
“We want to give back to the community; we’re vested in the community we serve,” she said.