While everyone is Philippi may not agree on what is the best future for the old Broaddus Hospital, there is one thought there should be complete unity upon: Don't let the building sit empty.
As area residents have seen in Salem, Clarksburg, Weston, Fairmont, Grafton and a host of other communities, empty downtown buildings do absolutely nothing to promote economic development. And, even the most beautiful of buildings -- such as the historic Waldo Hotel in Clarksburg -- eventually become eyesores and community dangers when devoid of occupants.
Looking at Broaddus Hospital -- which Alderson-Broaddus College is in the uncomfortable position of having on its campus but having little to no legal sway over -- we think its development as another Grand Central Business Center would be a God send.
Kris Warner, developer of such business centers in Morgantown and Keyser, has a history of success. His Morgantown operation, which is located in what used to be two West Virginia University dormitories, is operating at full capacity.
Businesses located on site include such diverse entities as a radio station, light manufacturing, telemarketing and technology. Business operators share some services to cut costs. The cooperation is good for the business owners and good for the community.
Instead of retreating into battle positions over the old hospital's current legal status, we urge college, Davis Memorial Hospital Systems and Philippi officials to work together to secure a solid future for this important building.
If that future is spent as a Grand Central Business Center, that's wonderful. If it isn't, we encourage those involved to move quickly to fill those empty halls and rooms with something that is equally economically viable long before area residents have a chance to grow accustomed to an empty brick shell.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.