Davis Center To Be Used As 3.5 Million Dollar Storage Building

The Legislative Post Audits Subcommittee gets the latest word on the failed renovations at the Davis Center in Tucker County. That's where the Division of Juvenile Services spent three and a half million dollars to transform the facility into housing for female offenders. However, the plan was scrapped in the middle of the job, so the building sits unfinished, empty and unused.

There were plans for Juvenile Services to turn the building over back to its owner, the Division of Natural Resources. And there were preliminary talks to allow the Department of Agriculture to turn the building into a cannery.

But those plans fell through.

Now, the DNR says it will use the space as a storage building. A three and a half million dollar storage building.

"I mean, it's just not right," Senator Mike Hall of Putnam County said. "It's the way government, I'm sorry, sometimes operates. That people can just spend money and build facilities and then just walk away from them. You know, there might have been extenuating circumstances but there wasn't a lot of foresight . So, this is the type of thing we hope to prevent in the future as we highlight something like this."

Committee members asked Division of Juvenile Services Director Stephanie Bond if her agency will recover any of the millions it spent on the partial building renovations before abandoning the project. She said no.

Members also say they want the DNR to look for better ways to use the structure than simply as a storage building.

"We will look at creative ways and see if there's interest in that area," Emily Fleming, Assistant to the W.Va. DNR Director said. "We are always open to any ideas and our cabinet secretary is willing to work with us to see if we can pursue some of those ideas."

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