Photo courtesy: sherry hanson
MUNDESVILLE — As people gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Marshall County Health Department building, it was clear that the ground had already been broken.
Marshall County Commissioner Mike Ferro said the project’s general contractor, Grecon Construction of Steubenville, is already three weeks ahead of schedule on its $8.9 million construction effort. It turns out that steel beams have already been installed on the ground around the site.
This allowed the crew to dive into buildings important to the county government and residents earlier, much to the delight of Marshall County officials.
“On behalf of my fellow Commissioners Scott Verner and John Grzynkas, I would like to welcome you all to this important day,” Ferro said. “We are very excited about the future of the Marshall County Health Department.”
The old health department building and the old journal office were demolished to make way for the new building.
The Department of Health will continue to operate from the old Teletech Building in Moundsville until the new structure is completed. The new building will be much larger and will provide better practice areas for patient care and conversation. There is also a conference space with large glass windows on the second floor. The building will also include the Marshall County Courthouse warehouse and election rooms. The building was designed by Marie Macquarie, architect of Charleston’s Schilling Architects.
Ferro said discussions about creating a new health sector had been going on for several years and began to take shape when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
“Good things can come out of bad situations,” he said. “The impact of COVID-19 has forced us to take a step back and re-evaluate many of the things we thought were necessary.”
Health Secretary Tom Cook said he might be “at the helm” of the ship, but that it would be health department staff who would keep the ship moving. He asked them to stand and be acknowledged during the ceremony.
In addition to Cook, Department of Health staff includes Health Director Dr. Andrew Schmidt, Nursing Director Misty Melliner, Hygienists Thomas Bonner and Curtis Perry, and Dental Hygienist Charlene Line, nurses Vicky Arender and Joan Dobbs, accountant Vicky Ernest and administrative assistant Bonnie Bunch. Mimi Logston and Threat Prevention Coordinator Chris Ernest.
Members of the Marshall County Board of Health include Christy Menendez, Reverend Wesley Hausare, Ferro, Jason Turner and James Stultz.
“This day would not have been possible without the hard work, endless hours and sheer dedication of our commissioners, local administrators and health department staff,” Cook said.
“This project began with a vision to build an inclusive architectural phenomenon: a building that would represent and define what the Marshall County Health Department is all about,” Cook said.
“This building will remain special 25 years from today and the envy of many other countries. Our new health department will be a state-of-the-art facility. building is under construction.”
“If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it has shown the shortcomings of current buildings.”
Cook said the new building will have an emergency generator if needed. Negative pressure clinics, also known as isolation rooms, will also be set up to keep patients with contagious or infectious diseases away from other patients.
“In the last four years, the health department has grown with new programs and the old health department has become obsolete,” he added. “This is a project that Marshall County residents can be proud of.”
Hausare thanked everyone involved in getting the project off the ground.
“This will be a blessing for Marshall County. “They deliver the service. They train. People whose lives were threatened because they were doing what they believed was right to keep people alive.
“But they’re still here for the size of their hearts. So thank you.”
Ferro said the building is expected to be completed within about a year and a half.
During the ceremony, Ferro also thanked Jim Cochrane, a longtime retired reporter who still writes a weekly column for The Sunday News Register, for his service to the county. . Cochrane recently had hip surgery and is undergoing physical rehabilitation.