Author Archive

Brownfields Conference Promotes Revitalization and Redevelopment

Written by Kathryn Ghion, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter/Weekend Anchor, WBOY on . Posted in Events, Media, News

The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers are teaching revitalization and redevelopment at their annual conference.

The Centers brought together more than 300 people for the three day conference and Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit on Thursday.

“As Morgantown and Monongalia County grow, there are a lot of sites that have been redeveloped,” said Patrick Kirby, Director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. We wanted to take people downtown, show them some neat things that are happening that are really exciting right now, but some have had to take environmental cleanup.”

Brownfields are any site that would be redeveloped, but there is either real or perceived contamination. The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers help to clean that up.

“There are big projects that we’ve all driven by that same site that looks to big to tackle,” said Kirby. “If they just do what they can in their community, they can reach out to us for assistance and they can tackle those problems.”

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Listen to NBAC Director Patrick Kirby Explain the BAD Buildings Program

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Media, News

Patrick Kirby, director of Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, explains how WVU helps cities and counties in the state deal with BAD buildings – Blighted, Abandoned and Dilapidated structures that degrade the quality of life in our communities. Gary Bowden interviews Kirby as part of his WAJR radio broadcast. Go to the podcast here (starts at 27:38).

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Women in Brownfields Breakfast Announced

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Events, News

Women in Brownfields Logo.

The Women in Brownfields Breakfast provides an opportunity to bring women in all aspects of brownfield development – environmental, community development, and economic development, to name a few – together to find ways to support one another in professional development, as well as to encourage other women to enter the field. The program will feature a keynote address from Susan Kemnitzer, 2016 West Virginia Wonder Woman, and information on additional networking opportunities in the future. The event will be held in conjunction with the 2017 #WVBrownfields Conference at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center on September 14 from 7:30 AM – 9:30 am.

Have breakfast, network, and share your experiences with other women working in brownfield redevelopment as we look for new ways to work together, support one another, and encourage more women to tackle the challenging, but rewarding, work that we do.

Register now at this link. More information on the 2017 Brownfields Conference at this link.

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CONTACT: Andrew Stacy, West Virginia Water Research Institute
304-293-7085, astacy@mail.wvu.edu

Making BAD Buildings Good Again: West Virginia communities display best efforts to tackle dilapidated building issues

Written by Darlene J. Swiger, The Exponent Telegram on . Posted in Media, News

Though West Virginia is known for its peaceful and serene country scenery, nestled in several of its mountains are communities fighting blighted and dilapidated structures that significantly damage that pristine image.

“Honestly, it’s been an issue for a long time,” said Luke Elser, project manager of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. “In West Virginia, it feels like a lot of communities and the citizens themselves have begun to address this by saying, ‘This problem needs to be solved, and we need to solve it as a community.’”

Elser feels optimistic West Virginia’s communities are moving in the right direction.

“There is rehab happening all over the state,” he said. “Each community is approaching it differently. The solutions that may work in Charleston might not work in the Northern Panhandle or other parts of the state.”

Broadening Spectrum

Previously, the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center focused its efforts on brownfield sites that once housed commercial properties, abandoned glass factories and other environmental hazards. However, the center has since broadened the spectrum of blighted properties it services.“We’ve been working with these communities to look at revitalization of these dilapidated buildings, looking at residential and commercial properties in the dilapidated downtown areas,” Elser said. “We’re working on removing the worst, most dangerous structures, working to fix the ones that we don’t have to tear down, so that we get the vacant properties back to a productive use.”To do so, the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center started a BAD (Blighted, Abandoned and Dilapidated) Buildings program.

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