MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The 100-year-old Morgantown City Hall officially reopened Tuesday night following the completion of a two-year, $3.5 million renovation project.

Director of Engineering and Public Works Damien Davis said the renovation was long overdue, and now the building is historic yet prepared to serve the 21st century mission of serving the Morgantown community.

“The building before was moldy; it had asbestos insulation on some of the pipes, and it had an old boiler that leaked,” Davis said. “It was hot in some rooms, cold in others, and it just wasn’t a great building to work in.”

In recent years, the sidewalks that have rooms connected to City Hall under them have been reinforced, a new roof has been installed, and the facade of the building has been rehabilitated.

This project replaced windows, installed a new HVAC system, a new elevator, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new floors, and added a secure entrance foyer.

“They were all things that we did and a lot of money we spent to get the building structurally sound,” Davis said. “But it had nothing to do with improving the quality of life of the workers here, and that’s what this project was about—to improve the quality of life of the people that work in the building.”

The initial contract with Commercial Builders, Inc., was valued at $2.9 million, and over the next two years, $600,000 in additions made the final contract price about $3.5 million.

“We added a few things to the project we weren’t thinking about originally,” Davis said. “We really gutted this whole building, and things popped up.”

Commercial Builders, Inc. was also the company that completed the sidewalk repairs and now this renovation. Davis said the age of the building required many adjustments and changes to accommodate and repurpose some portions of the building. The former plumbing in the structure is now how computer networks and internet access are distributed.

“They did an excellent job; they were excellent to work with the whole time,” Davis said. “Every step of the way, they were right there working, and the supervisor, Kenny Goodwin, went above and beyond everywhere.”

Morgantown Area Partnership President and CEO Russ Rogerson spoke at the event and highlighted the importance of public and private investment in downtown. Investments like these can encourage other investments, and that’s the hope for a downtown in comeback mode.

“Taking care of our properties in downtown is absolutely critical, and I applaud the city for their efforts to continue to utilize this building that has been a long-standing asset to the community,” Rogerson said.