City Buys Union Parking Lot

The city of Benwood now owns the former Union School’s parking lot after purchasing it at a West Virginia State Auditor’s Office auction Tuesday.

Police Chief Frank Longwell and city Code Enforcer Robert Kish attended the auction at the Marshall County courthouse on behalf of Benwood, and their $1,000 bid for the property was the highest among those bidding.

Parking in South Benwood is limited, and residents have parked in the school’s lot since it was constructed in 1913, according to Longwell. The city wanted to purchase the property to assure the parking was still available to them. The parking lot area measures just over an acre.

“I thought it would go for more than $1,000,” Longwell said. “But we had to have it.”

The Union School building and surrounding property also was auctioned Tuesday. It was sold for $500.

Representatives from the State Auditor’s Office said they could not provide the name of who placed the winning bid on the former school, but they did say it was a company. It is not likely the sales will be finalized for at least five months, according to officials.

The school has been vacant since it was closed in 2003. The school and adjacent property was later purchased by Powless Roofing of Georgia, which forfeited the property for taxes in 2010, according to Longwell. It was put up for sheriff’s sale then, but not purchased. Both parcels of land then became property of the state of West Virginia.