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Belmont County Health Department Seeks Bigger Building

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Health Department board is anticipating vaccinating college students this week against the COVID-19 pandemic, and will approach the county commissioners about the possibility of a new and bigger headquarters in the future.

Board member Joel Braido suggested the board might speak with the Belmont County Board of Commissioners in the near future about expanding the headquarters. As usual since the pandemic reached its peak, the health board met in the command center of the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency where social distancing guidelines of about six feet between people could be maintained.

Belmont County Health Commissioner George Cholak agreed.

“Our old building is inadequate for what they expect us to do and the staff that we have,” he said. “I think they need a new building. A complete new building.”

Cholak suggested a new building could be raised on property behind the current headquarters at 68501 Bannock Uniontown Road, St. Clairsville, and that building could be taken down to make parking spaces.

“They only have about three or four parking spaces there,” he said.

“We want to express our concerns about our building,” Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul said, adding the board had spoken to the commissioners before. “It’s kind of hard to serve that many people in that small a location. Our storage is very, very limited, so trying to have enough (personal protective equipment) for the county, so it’s packed us in there kind of tight.”

Sproul said the building is close to 50 years old and in need of repairs. He said he will consult with the commissioners about the square footage needed.

“It’s not going to be a huge, huge building, but we need more space than what we have, and we’re going to sit down and determine the optimum amount,” he said.

Cholak also commented on Gov. Mike DeWine’s visit to Steubenville Monday, adding he has talked to the governor’s office and hopes DeWine will come to observe Belmont County’s operations.

“I want him to come, when we have a clinic, to see how it’s operating and see how much we’re doing,” Cholak said.

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