Crumbling Mount

A RICH and glorious past is unfortunately fading into decay. The Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy was a fortress in the Ohio Valley academic circles for well over a century.

However, that magnificent tradition no longer graces the local area. That saddening fact was on full display Tuesday.

The educational facility closed its doors with the commencement class of 2008. The following years have been anything but kind to the former school, founded by Sisters of the Visitation.

Wheeling Hospital took ownership of the Mount property on Aug. 2. Hospital officials opened the facility and grounds to a tour by local media.

What they witnessed was sobering at best.

The architectural beauty which once oozed from the Wheeling campus has been replaced by disrepair inside and out.

The brick facade now features loose mortar while the roof and downspouts are in shoddy condition.

The interior is in no better shape. Floors are bowed while ceilings and walls have lost the battle against years of unimpeded water.

The extensive damage has resulted in the property posing a safety risk, a cruel injustice to what the Mount once reflected.

Wheeling Hospital officials are playing their eventual plans for the facility close to the vest. They obviously have definitive ideas for their new prized possession, or they would not have entered into such a costly deal.

We trust Wheeling Hospital will make prudent use of the Mount which, despite its current physical state, harbors countless fond memories for anyone associated with it.

While razing Mount de Chantal is a distinct possibility, the academy’s place in Ohio Valley archives will never disappear.