The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia recently announced a new community revitalization program.
The program will assist regional development councils, county governments, and local municipalities in a 17-county target area to redevelop abandoned, unused structures.
The program, sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), launched in October of 2022, and is referred to as the Building Removal and Renovation (BR2) Initiative.
The program seeks to identify and rank dilapidated non-residential structures and prepare selected sites for rehabilitation or demolition.
The target area extends across multiple regions of West Virginia and includes the following counties (identified by ARC as distressed): Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wyoming.
Structures and associated property will be evaluated from multiple perspectives, including structural integrity, environmental site conditions (potentially including but not limited to Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments to determine environmental conditions), plus site-specific evaluations (i.e., asbestos, lead-based paint and/or mold inspections).
Initial structure and/or site redevelopment planning activities and estimated remediation and/or rehabilitation costs will also be included.
This initiative will occur over a two-year period and will prepare the highest-ranking structures and associated sites with relevant information for educated decisions to be made with obtaining future funding for renovation or demolition activities.
For more information or to request an application, contact the Center at 304-696-6048 or email Mark Buchanan, Project Coordinator.
The southern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is housed within Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical, and Applied Sciences, and focuses on the lower half of the state.
Photo of Marshall University courtesy of the City of Huntington.