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WVNCC finishing renovations

WHEELING — Outdoor renovations that began in the fall of last year on West Virginia Northern Community College’s downtown Wheeling campus are nearing completion, according to college officials.

WVNCC spokesman David Barnhart said the renovations are moving along on schedule. Crews with Ponzani Landscaping Company of St. Clairsville continue adding small trees and shrubbery around large parking and green space areas behind the school’s B&O Building and near a second parking lot near the corner of 16th and Main Streets this week.

“They have recently been paved, and recently been landscaped. There are still a few more things to do in the parking lots, but everything is on schedule,” Barnhart explained. He said the college hopes to open the newly renovated areas by the end of May.

Barnhart said WVNCC officials are very excited about how well the renovations should mirror the city’s upcoming streetscape project. He also said removing large amounts of unsightly bushes and brush along the edge of Chapline Street next to the B&O Building has really “opened up” that part of town to the campus.

“In that part of town, you could hardly see the back of the B&O Building. So that has all been cleared and it’s being landscaped,” he said. “There’s a lot of activity going on back there and it really opens it up for folks to see the B&O (Building) and to look down towards the Centre Market area, and obviously lets us have a lot more parking for our students.”

A stormwater management retention pond is also being implemented as part of the greenspace design plans for the B&O Building lot and large stones that were once part of the foundation of the railroad trestle that ran across the B&O building have been added to the greenspace.

Crews with Angelina Stone & Marble of Bridgeport recently put the finishing touches on a decorative pillar at the corner of 16th and Main Street, and plans are being made for two more similar pillar-style signs at two other locations on the edge of the college’s downtown campus. Ornamental fencing will be placed around the 16th Street lot as well.

Wheeling city officials in December approved closing a small section of 18th Street to allow Northern to extend its parking and greenspace area to the edge of Wheeling Creek. Officials with Wallace Pancher Group of St. Clairsville, the architect and engineer for the WVNCC project, said the look of the new lot and greenspace areas will be compatible with what people can expect to see with the downtown Wheeling streetscape project. Wallace Pancher is also working on the city’s upcoming streetscape project.

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