Move Quickly At OVMC Site
Wheeling officials are to be commended for their get-in-and-get-out philosophy regarding the Ohio Valley Medical Center property, most of which is now owned by the city.
Municipal ownership of the property has two components, as we have reported. First, plans are to convert the Valley Professional Building for use as a new police station. In addition, a new central fire station is to be constructed on the OVMC property.
That will utilize just a fraction of the acquisition, however. The second component of city ownership is ending it as quickly as possible by selling buildings and land at the site to private owners.
City officials have said they want to move forward with all prudent speed in demolishing old OVMC buildings that cannot be salvaged, and in making repairs necessary to sell the other structures.
Good. The sooner the process of making the site marketable is gotten under way, the better. That said, some caution will be needed in spending money on repairs and renovations. Only those absolutely vital should be undertaken.
With regard to the police station, city officials have known what they want and need for months. Let us hope converting the Professional Building can be accomplished both quickly and economically.
Ditto for the new fire station. Once it is determined where on the OVMC site to place the facility, design work should not require much time or money.
We were among those with reservations about municipal acquisition of the OVMC property. Whether private-sector buyers for parts of it can be found is problematic, especially in view of the economic slowdown linked to COVID-19.
But that very factor may work in the city’s favor, if design and construction firms are eager enough for new business to submit lower bids for their work.
Haste sometimes makes waste, so Wheeling officials may have to tap the brakes at certain points in the project.. Still, the overall policy of moving quickly is prudent and, unless something unforeseen happens, should continue to guide the process.