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Clarksburg's new federal building is look into future

by Paul Leakan


The $8.5 million federal General Services Administration building on West Pike Street may provide a sneak-peek into Clarksburg's future.

The 55,443-square-foot mass of stone and brick should open by mid-November, according to Michael Castle, a real estate agent with Petroplus Properties.

And city officials say: Let the future begin.

The building could provide the city a one-stop shopping atmosphere for services, said Jeff Mikorski, director of community and economic development.

The Social Security Administration and its disability division, the Small Business Administration and the regional branch of the FBI are some of the agencies that plan to move into the building, he said.

When it comes to revitalizing downtown Clarksburg, talk can be cheap. The actual construction of the federal building, however, shows some progress in action, Mikorski said.

"We have a fantastic downtown, but without new developments and projects going downtown, it's hard to see the progress," he said.

The buildings that will be vacated by businesses moving into the federal complex are prime locations, Mikorski said, and should provide opportunities for other businesses that want to move downtown.

West Virginia companies are building the federal complex, which will be 100 percent handicapped accessible.

The design of the new building features a more modern, high-tech flavor than most office buildings in the state, Castle said.

"This is a Year 2000 building," Castle said. "I wouldn't necessarily call this the office building of the future. I would say it's the building of the present. It's just that the present hasn't typically come to West Virginia."

Some of the building's features, however, may turn heads.

Motion-controlled lights are being installed in about 90 percent of the rooms, Castle said. Every time someone enters those rooms, the lights will automatically come on. When someone leaves, the lights shut off.

In addition, the computer systems will all be wired to a central network. And the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system will all be computer-controlled for efficiency.

After all the hard work, Castle just hopes Clarksburg citizens embrace the new building.

"I think the project has gone as smoothly as it can go," he said. "I hope the people of Clarksburg are happy with the design of the building. We think it's a premium product, and it will upgrade downtown Clarksburg."