West Virginia State Acquires Former Rehabilitation Center Property

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
June 17, 2013
West Virginia State Acquires Former Rehabilitation Center Property

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Administration today transferred the former West Virginia Rehabilitation Center property in Institute, W.Va., to West Virginia State University (WVSU).

The nearly 20 acres of property adjacent to WVSU contains 15 buildings and more than 430,000 square-feet of space. The property has been primarily unused since March 2011.

“Academic growth, especially in the areas of science, nursing and technology is driving the need for the expansion of the campus of West Virginia State,” said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill. “We truly appreciate Governor Tomblin’s support of the progress we anticipate for West Virginia State and our need to expand our physical footprint in Institute.

“The former West Virginia Rehabilitation Center is ideal to accommodate the University’s growth, which will in turn aid in the overall economic growth of the state and region.”

A comprehensive plan for the property is being developed, but initial efforts will focus on renovating and opening the former administration building at the complex, known as the F. Ray Power building.

The four-story F. Ray Power building contains more than 31,000 square-feet of offices, as well as conference rooms.

In addition to the administration building, the property contains several other buildings that formerly housed offices, a cafeteria and residential space. These buildings will remain closed pending a comprehensive evaluation of potential uses.

“The potential academic and economic development opportunities of repurposing the former Rehabilitation Center property are significant,” Hemphill said.  “WVSU is committed to developing a long-term strategy to support this expansion.”

The center previously provided on-site vocational and rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities. In 2007, client services ceased at the site, but the Division of Rehabilitation Services continued to use the center as the central hub for the agency until 2011.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
- WVSU -
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