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Moundsville Resident Wants To See Sanford Center Saved

The remnants of what was once the Sanford Center still stand at the corner of Third and Cedar, its fate all but sealed.

Yet, days before the Sept. 30 date which will see the city open bids to demolish the building, local resident and historian Joe Parriott voiced his concerns to the Moundsville City Council. While he was scheduled to speak at Tuesday evening’s council meeting, Parriott was unable to appear in person, instead submitting a three-page document for the council’s consideration.

Parriott asked that the council reconsider demolishing the Sanford Center, which at various points in its life was Sanford Elementary, then center for small business, and is now a derelict and crumbling building. Parriott’s document asks the council to contact multi-state realtors “to determine if there is a market for Sanford, as is, or what it could be if fully restored.”

He also described the Sanford Center as “architecturally attractive, ‘solid as a rock,’ and (which) may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Buildings.”

The objectives for the Sanford Center, Parriott stated, are fourfold: demolish the building and sell or utilize the land; gift the center to the Marshall County Health Department, which is looking at completely renovating its facility due to size constraints; renovate the building, installing a new roof and removing mold and asbestos — which Parriott estimates could cost around $660,000 — and use the space for senior living apartments or regional business or governmental office space; or fully restore the building, at an estimated cost of $5,700,000. Parriott introduced himself as an industrial engineer, his experience on which he based his estimates.

Funding for these projects, Parriott suggested, could be obtained through grants to improve the city’s image, historical preservation, or as a “green” project. He also suggested delaying upcoming projects for street resurfacing and constructing a new city building.

Members of Moundsville City Council will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday to open bids for demo work at the Sanford Center. City Manager Rick Healy said that while the current plan is to demolish the structure, if bids come in over expectations they may need to reevaluate.

“It is really bad, it’s unsafe, it’s environmentally unsafe,” Healy said.

Parriott was unable to be reached for further comment.

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