EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHMDA DONATION
from Eyewitness News Online
Old Downtown Building To Get New Life
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: May. 15, 2012 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: May. 16, 2012 8:41 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Plans continue to move forward for a reincarnation of a building that stood vacant in downtown Huntington for years.
Huntington mayor Kim Wolfe says, "This is really the pinnacle of the downtown Pullman Plaza, so we're just real excited about the investment of an empty building that's been empty for several years, and seeing the resources and people be downtown."
The Huntington Municipal Development Authority gave a $400,000 check to Marshall University for their Visual Arts Center in the old Stone and Thomas building.
Chairperson of the Department of Art and Design in the College of Fine Arts at Marshall University Byron Clercx says, "It's hard not to be excited about having the space that you need so that your program can realize its potential and then to be a part of the cultural and economic development of downtown Huntington is close to my heart because I love Huntington and I love Marshall so this is a perfect marriage."
This money comes from the property sale to Amazon.com at Kinetic Park. The goal is to reinvest the money downtown continue to stimulate business and job growth downtown. Wolfe says, "It's kind of like field of dreams, if you build it they'll come. So we're building it. And of course it will be a great recruiting effort for Marshall University to showcase the art department."
Clercx says, "Having the kind of space that our students need to grow our enrollment and to let the quality of our program show itself to the community, it will help the visual arts showcase themselves in ways that the performing arts always get to."
No money will be used from the city's general fund. Wolfe says, "When entities work together, the private sector, the government sector, Marshall University sector, and everybody works together you can see what accomplishments can be made."
Construction will begin this year on the eight-million dollar project. It's expected to be complete by early 2014.
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