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Update: Second building considered for 911 center site

County commission tours former Suddenlink call center
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 5:02 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - The Wood County Commission has looked at another possible location for an expanded 911 center.

The site is the former Suddenlink call center, located off U.S. route 50, that closed in 2017. It’s not far from the current 911 center on Core Road.

Some county officials like the structure, but a drawback is that the building was recently purchased by an investment company, meaning if the county wanted to locate there, it would have to lease the building from its owners.

That’s not something it’s currently interested in doing.

“We’ve reached out to Adam Krason, the lead architect we’ve used on projects, to give us a sketch-out of our anticipated costs-of acquiring and retrofitting-to be able to do this,” Commission President Blair Couch said Thursday morning.

Couch says commissioners may consider looking at other possible sites.

The 911 center currently has an association with Wirt County’s 911 system. Couch says it could affiliate with other West Virginia counties, in much the manner as the six counties served by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

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A closed Parkersburg school has been looked into as a possible future location for Wood County’s 911 center.

Wood County officeholders late last week took a look at the former Worthington Elementary School, joined by county school administrators.

Worthington was one of three Wood County schools shut down at the end of the last school year.

The 911 Center has been interested for the past five years in a larger location, to expand its staff.

Commission President Blair Couch Monday indicated no final decisions on a future site have been made.

“(We’re) looking at other facilities; bringing the state in to see if there’s something they’d like to house," Couch said. "Worthington is far larger than our existing center. So housing other things there to share the cost of utilities makes a lot of sense.”

Interesting, it was in a former elementary school where the current 911 center was located-in the closed Core Road Elementary School. The center has been in that location since Wood County’s 911 system began in the late 1990′s.

After call volume dropped during the “stay at home” orders and shutdown of the spring, the center has again seen an increase in calls.

Worthington Elementary first opened in 1968. Declining enrollment throughout the school system led the board of education to close it, as well as McKinley and Waverly elementaries, effective this past June.

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