Ridgeley Council facing many decisions as they move toward a new building
By Ronda Wertman
RIDGELEY-- It’s decisions, decisions as the Ridgeley mayor and council start planning for their new town hall.
To be constructed on the site of the former Ridgeley School, the new building will feature offices for the town clerk, public works and mayor; a council chamber for meetings and will be home to the police department.
Decisions go from whether to have a crawl space or basement to how high the ceilings should be. Each of these decisions impacts other aspects from storage to heating.
Storage is an important issue as the town wants to have ample storage along with a space to display Ridgeley memorabilia.
There are a variety of options from the heat pump to supplemental gas heat. Then there’s the question of how to control the temperature throughout the building with daily personnel in the offices, while the council chamber is less utilized.
One known factor is that the building will be handicapped accessible throughout.
Water and sewer taps are in place at the former school, but fees for connecting to gas and electric may need to be included in the project costs.
Another important factor is permission of the West Virginia State Fire Marshall’s Office to proceed with plans.
Councilman Nick Imes said that he had contacted the fire marshal’s office, which unofficially told him the town may not need a sprinkler system.
“The biggest fear I have is what the fire marshal is going to say,” said mayor Mark Jones on concerns that approvals could delay the project and modifications could increase costs.
Design elements from brick and vinyl exteriors, metal or shingle roofing and types of windows were all discussed.
“I think each department should draw out what they want,” said Jones.
The council is looking at LED lighting with lots of exterior dusk to dawn lights for safety and protection.
The former school building located on the site was often the site of vandalism with numerous break-ins.
In addition to the building construction, there are many other expenses the town will have including a new phone system and preparation of lot.
“It really needs a lot of work, that parking lot,” Jones said.
While the council was originally hoping to have a building completed during their term, which expires June 30, members are now hoping that construction can be completed during 2021.
A garage must also be constructed and while the town is getting estimates for the town hall estimates are also being sought for the adjacent garage.
“It’s way overdue. We need to get this done. I want the town to move forward,” concluded Imes as the council is meeting in the community center or Sharing Life Ministries due to deteriorating conditions as the current town hall.
The council will hold a work session Nov. 17 to continue plans.