04 February 2010 – MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eleven West Virginia communities, from Weirton in the northern panhandle to the Upper Guyandotte in the southern coalfields, will be creating plans to redevelop dilapidated industrial sites thanks to winning $5,000 grants each from the 2010 FOCUS WV Brownfields program.
“The FOCUS WV program allows the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers at West Virginia University and Marshall University to provide financial and technical assistance to the selected communities to create redevelopment visions for some of their biggest eyesores,” said Sera Zegre, FOCUS WV program manager at WVU. Funding for the Foundation for Overcoming Challenges and Utilizing Strengths (FOCUS) program is being provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through the West Virginia University Foundation.
The winners, who will be using the awards to create community-based revitalization plans, include the:
- Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.,to revitalize the Arthurdale school buildings in Preston County
- Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning & Development Council, to attract private developers to Weirton’s North End in Hancock County
- Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone of West Virginia, to convert an old rail yard into the JG Bradley Campground in Clay County
- City of Parkersburg, to redevelop the FoamCoat waterfront property that was once a marble factory and a petroleum storage facility along the Little Kanawha River in Wood County
- Coal Heritage Highway Authority, to establish a Coal Heritage Discovery Center in an underutilized historical structure in the town of Mt. Hope in Fayette County
- Friends of Deckers Creek, to transform a former service station into the Pioneer Rocks Gateway in Monongalia County
- Morris Creek Watershed Association, to design a “green” building to house an Environmental Educational Learning Center for Fayette and Kanawha Counties
- Shepherdstown Public Library , to reclaim a dormant landfill as a site for a new, state-of-the-art “green” library in Jefferson County
- Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association, to revitalize Horse Creek Lake in Wyoming County
- Webster County Economic Development Authority, to redevelop the old Reiss-Viking magnetite processing plant along the banks of the Gauley River outside Camden in Webster County
- Wes-Mon-Ty Resource Conservation & Development Project, Inc., to restore mine-scarred lands on Cheat Mountain at Barton Bench in Randolph County
Information about the FOCUS WV Brownfields Program, as well as testimonials from other communities that received funding in 2009, can be found at www.wvbrownfields.com. The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center is located at the West Virginia Water Research Institute, at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy; the WV Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University is located in the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences.